Host use by vectors is important in understanding the transmission of zoonotic diseases, which can affect humans, wildlife and domestic animals. Here, a synthesis of host exploitation patterns by kissing-bugs, vectors of Chagas disease, is presented. For this synthesis, an extensive literature review restricted to feeding sources analysed by precipitin tests was conducted. Modern tools from community ecology and multivariate statistics were used to determine patterns of segregation in host use. Rather than innate preferences for host species, host use by kissing-bugs is influenced by the habitats they colonise. One of the major limitations of studies on kissing-bug foraging has been the exclusive focus on the dominant vector species. We propose that expanding foraging studies to consider the community of vectors will substantially increase the understanding of Chagas disease transmission ecology. Our results indicate that host accessibility is a major factor that shapes the blood-foraging patterns of kissing-bugs. Therefore, from an applied perspective, measures that are directed at disrupting the contact between humans and kissing-bugs, such as housing improvement, are among the most desirable strategies for Chagas disease control.
The spring diet of the Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax olivaceus) in a coastal marine environment is described. This species is widely distributed in Argentina and their trophic habits have been scarcely studied. Paradoxically, in 1981 it was declared a "harmful species" in Buenos Aires Province. A total of 200 pellets from adults and juveniles were collected during four visits between 2003 and 2006 in the del Puerto Island, Bahía Blanca estuary, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. A total of 15 prey items were recorded, with teleosts fishes as the most important items in the diet. The lucerna (Porichthys porosissimus), a benthic toadfish with no commercial value in this zone, was the most frequent prey.
Se describe la dieta del Biguá (Phalacrocorax olivaceus) en un ambiente marino-costero durante la primavera. Pese a ser una especie ampliamente distribuida en Argentina, sus hábitos tróficos han sido escasamente estudiados y, paradójicamente, fue declarada en 1981 como especie dañina o perjudicial en la provincia de Buenos Aires. Se analizaron un total de 200 egagrópilas de adultos y juveniles recolectadas durante cuatro visitas entre 2003 y 2006 en la Isla del Puerto, estuario de Bahía Blanca, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Se identificaron un total de 15 presas, siendo los peces óseos los dominantes en la dieta. La lucerna (Porichthys porosissimus), especie de hábitos bentónicos y sin valor comercial en la zona, fue la presa de mayor frecuencia de ocurrencia.