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Volume 2015, Article ID 613614, 12 pages
Research Article

Morphometric Analysis of the Host Effect on Phenotypical Variation of Belminus ferroae (Hemiptera: Triatominae)

1Laboratorio de Ecología Sensorial, Centro Multidisciplinario de Ciencias, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC), Loma de Los Guamos, Jají, Mérida 5107, Venezuela
2Laboratorio de Parasitología Experimental (LAPEX), Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida 5101, Venezuela
3Laboratorio de Biomédicas, Facultad de Salud, Universidad de Pamplona, Km 1 Vía Bucaramanga, Pamplona, Norte de Santander, Colombia
4Laboratorio de Entomología “Herman Lent”, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida 5101, Venezuela

Received 14 July 2015; Revised 4 November 2015; Accepted 5 November 2015

Academic Editor: Cleber Galvão

Copyright © 2015 Claudia Magaly Sandoval Ramirez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Triatominae subfamily includes hematophagous insects, well known for their role as vectors for the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, etiologic agent of Chagas’ disease. Belminus ferroae is a triatomine that showed an increased demographic fitness when cockroaches were used as hosts. Here we compare the centroid size (CS) and wing shape between B. ferroae parents and three successive generations (O1, O2, and O3) of their offspring fed on cockroaches or mice under laboratory conditions. Morphometric analysis of the wings bugs fed on cockroaches showed a significant reduction in CS in both sexes among all generations. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) was observed in the insects fed on cockroaches (O2 and O3), as well as those bugs fed on mice (O2). Differences in the shape of wings were observed between parental and offspring wings when fed on mice, but not in males (O1, O2, and O3) or females (O1 and O2) fed on cockroaches. There was a greater wing shape similarity between the cockroach-fed offspring and their parents according to the Mahalanobis distances. Our results support the idea of higher adaptation of this Triatominae with arthropod hosts.