An investigative study on the effects of black fly (diptera: simuliidae) sugar meals on reproductive success and parasite transmission /
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Black flies are opportunistic sugar-feeders. They take sugar meals from Homopteran honeydew secretions or plant nectars, depending on availability. Homopteran honeydew secretions contain both simple and complex carbohydrates while plant nectars contain primarily simple carbohydrates. In order to determine whether honeydew secretions offer more energy than plant nectars to their insect visitors a study of wild-caught black flies was undertaken in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada during the spring of 1 998 and 1 999. It was hypothesized that female black flies maintained on honeydew sugars will survive longer, produce more eggs and have a greater parasite vectoring potential than those maintained on artificial nectar or distilled water. Results demonstrated that: (1) host-seeking female Prosimulimfuscum/mixtum and Simulium venustum maintained on artificial honeydew did not survive longer than those maintained on artificial nectar when fed ad libitum; (2) fiiUy engorged S. venustum and Simulium rugglesi maintained on artificial honeydew did not produce more eggs than those maintained on artificial nectar when fed ad libitum; and (3) S. rugglesi did not have a greater vectoring potential of Leucocytozoon simondi when maintained on artificial honeydew as opposed to artificial nectar when fed ad libitum. However, all flies maintained on the two sugars (artificial honeydew and artificial nectar) survived longer, produce more eggs and had greater vectoring potential than those maintained on distilled water alone.