ETD system

Electronic theses and dissertations repository


Tesi etd-06282017-145659

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea magistrale
Arthropod parasites of livestock
Corso di studi
relatore Prof. Canale, Angelo
relatore Dott. Benelli, Giovanni
correlatore Prof. Mele, Marcello
Parole chiave
  • mallophaga
  • tick
  • myiasis-producing flies
Data inizio appello
Riassunto analitico
Pest infestations are one of the most influential problems of livestock worldwide. They successful control is strictly connected to a proper management of husbandry. Furthermore, climate changing trends can be very influential, routing the seasonal presence of the ectoparasites. In this thesis, we focused on behavioral ecology of ticks and two species of calliphorid flies. Additionally, we critically examined and discussed current knowledge on Mallophaga control strategies.
Ticks are very dangerous vectors of several pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Coxiella brunetii that respectively arouse the Lyme disease and the Q fever. However, these ones are only two of the several etiological agent that ticks can transmit. Here, lateralization (i.e. functional and/or structural specialization of one brain hemisphere than the other) of questing behavior in Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus was investigated. Ticks exhibit lateralization at individual-level, while no evidence was observed at population level.
Lateralization was also studied in the green-bottle fly, Lucilia sericata, both during mating behavior (pre-copula and copula) and in males’ aggressive displays. L. sericata is well known as one of the first myiasis-fly all over the world. This species can be a vector of the Mycobacterium avium complex and Clostridium botulinum type C toxin. Also in this study, only lateralization at individual-level was recorded. During these experiments, several reproductive traits were also studied, such as pre-copula and copula duration, the number of foreleg tapping acts and head butting deeds.
Calliphora vomitoria is another threating livestock pest that may be a vector of several pathogens, for example C. botulinum type C toxin, as L. sericata. In this last part of the thesis, we investigated the innate color preferences of C. vomitoria adults using two-choice assays, tested combinations included: (i) black vs. white, (ii) black vs. yellow, (iii) black vs. red, and (iv) black vs. blue. Result suggested that C. vomitoria has an innate preference to the black color and that could be interesting to develop cheap chromatropic traps for blowfly monitoring.
Concerning chewing-lice, Mallophaga, our knowledge about their vector activity and control is extremely patchy. Mallophaga control methods still relied on the employ of chemical pesticides, while the development of eco-friendly control tool is scarce. That situation reflects the control management of the entire pests mentioned above. Behavioral studies are very limited and the analysis of pest ethological traits can become very difficult. The scientific community urgently needs detailed studies about the items described above.