Conducta de picada y defecación de Mepraia spinolai en dos hospederos frecuentes en su habitat
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The aim of this study was to compare the feeding and defecation behaviour of wild and laboratory-reared specimens of Mepraia spinolai confronted to the rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, and the wild rodent, Octodon degus as hosts. Time variations in bite, blood ingestion and defecation were analized, including weight gain after a blood meal. Considering bite duration significant differences were found according to the origin of insect. Laboratory reared specimens spent less biting time when fed on rabbit. No differences were found in blood ingestion time nor in defecation time. Blood meal was significantly different according to origin of the insect. Wild specimens of M. spinolai fed more blood than the laboratory ones. From these results it was apparent that there are not significant differences in the bug behaviour when they are confronted to these hosts, being both mammals of a similar epidemiological importance.