PMID: 2980177Jul 1, 1988

Tsetse: the limits to population growth

Medical and Veterinary Entomology
J W Hargrove


Growth rates of tsetse populations were estimated by calculating the dominant eigenvalues of appropriate Leslie matrices. The individual effects of four variables (pre-adult and adult survival probability, interlarval period and pupal duration), have been investigated by varying each one over a wide range of values, while the other three are held constant. R, the log of the growth rate, was found to vary approximately linearly with adult and pre-adult death rate; a 1% change in the adult death rate causes approximately a 10-fold change in R. R varies linearly with the log of fecundity and of the pupal duration. An increase in the pupal duration results in a decrease in the growth rate for populations which have a positive growth rate, but an increase for populations which have a negative growth rate. For a population at equilibrium, a change in the pupal duration has no effect. Small changes in fecundity have less effect on the growth rate than small changes in the death rate; this fact is advanced as an important contributor to the generally very cautious nature of female tsetse, and their aversion to man, particularly as a potential host. A simple linear model is described which relates R to all four variables and their first...Continue Reading


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