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Title: Attraction of Chagas Disease Vector Rhodnius pallescens to Artificial Light Sources
Authors: Yetter, Thomas
Advisors: Dobson, Andrew
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Chagas disease is a vector-borne disease carried by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that afflicts millions of people in the Americas. The principal vector, the triatomine or “kissing” bug, has been shown to be attracted towards artificial light sources common in human dwellings. After a literature review of Chagas disease and the natural histories of T. cruzi and the triatomine bug, this paper discusses an experiment studying the attraction of triatomine species Rhodnius pallescens to various types of artificial light. Both adult and nymph bugs were used in an arena experimental design, and motion-tracking software recorded and quantified movements of the bugs in the trials. Subjects that moved closer to the position of a light source in the arena were considered to be more attracted to that light source than subjects that moved further away from the light source. Except for two of the 17 treatments, no significant difference in movements was found between the adult and nymph bugs. Likewise, no significant results were found in analyzing the movement of the bugs in the control treatment to the various light source treatments. Lower p-values and average distances to the light sources may suggest, however, that R. pallescens bugs may be more attracted to fluorescent, LED, and UV lights than to television screens or commercial bug-repellant lights.
Extent: 43 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2017

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