Publication details

Changes in body size and fertility due to artificial and natural feeding of laboratory common bed bugs (Heteroptera: Cimicidae)



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Medical Entomology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Web odkaz na text článku pdf
Keywords insect rearing; diet; blood-sucking insect; number of eggs; blood preservation
Description Rearing common bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) and other hematophagous insects is essential for basic, medical, and pest-control research. Logistically, acquiring fresh blood can be a challenge, while biologically, the eventual effects of different rearing and blood preparation protocols on bed bug genotype and phenotype pose a risk of biased research results. Using bed bug populations that are either bat- (BL) or human-related (HL), we tested the short- and long-term effects of rearing bugs on live bats or human volunteers, or artificially on CPDA (citrate phosphate dextrose, adenine)-treated blood, measuring meal size, body size, and fertility. We found that artificial feeding did not affect meal size compared with feeding on natural hosts. Long-term rearing across many generations of HL on CPDA-preserved blood led to reduced body size and fertility compared with populations reared on human volunteers. Blood preservatives increased the proportion of sterile eggs even after a single feed. Finally, our results indicated that laboratory reared bed bugs were smaller, regardless of the blood source, than wild bugs. Similar effects of artificial feeding or laboratory rearing alone should be considered in future studies using bed bug cultures to choose an appropriate rearing protocol. With regard to switching between bat and human hosts, HL took smaller meals and BL had lower fertility when fed on bats than when fed on humans. We attribute these results to methodological constrains, specifically the inconsistency of bat feeding, rather than to host specialization. Nevertheless, BL can be easily reared using human blood and artificial feeding systems.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info