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¡SOBRE México!: Student Opportunities for Biological Research in Mexico

¡SOBRE México!

Samuel Gutierrez's Research

Analysis of the Behavior of Triatoma bolivari found near Chamela, MX

Triatoma sp

  • Vector of Chagas disease in mammals
  • Blood is only food source and may contain T. cruzi in feces

Triatoma bolivari

  • Research at EBCh recently found 46% of T. bolivari infected with T. cruzi .
  • Most T. bolivari were collected near outdoor lights near EBCh buildings.
    • Light attraction by triatomines is considered an infestation risk factor for human dwellings. 
  • Feed on squirrels, deer, toads, and other animals

Trials & Methods

Attraction towards Lights

  • Tested preference for Color Temperature (Kelvins)

Attraction towards heat (Thermal tests)

  • Cup hot water - no effect seen

Attraction towards carbon dioxide. 

  • Alka-seltzer disolving in cup with water - no effect seen

Attraction towards other insects / noisy insects - no effect seen

  • Assortment of different beetles captured
  • Container placed on one side of Triatomatron


  • Similar responses towards all lights tested.
  • The brightest lights were slightly more attractive.
  • Prefered white light over ultraviolet lights.
  • Too much light caused inactivity.
  • Activity of the T. bolovari was recorded during trials and used to graph activity during night.


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