A comparative electrophoretic study of the TRIATOMA RUBIDA complex (Hemiptera: reduviidae: triatominae)

Robert R. Adams


A taxonomic study of the Triatoma Rubida Complex was conducted at the subspecific and hybrid levels using cellulose acetate electrophoresis to differentiate proteins in the hemolymph.

The following studies were conducted and results obtained: Laboratory-induced bleeding over a 4-week period markedly lowers the total protein of the bugs studied. Patterns obtained from chicken-fed and rabbit-fed bugs, although similar, showed some noticeable differ- ences. Pathological-appearing bugs demonstrated protein patterns that varied greatly from the patterns obtained of normal bugs. The protein patterns obtained from hemolymph of 4th and 5th instar nymphs were quite similar, except for distance of migration. The computer was able to classify the bugs as to sex in a high percentage of cases. Bugs starved for extended periods of time were found to have greater protein density in the hemolymph than those fed more recently. The protein was found to become more dilute in the succeeding hours after blood meals.

Careful measurement of protein volumes, peak heights, and migration indicates that all of the above entities may influence, to a greater or lesser degree, the protein composition of the hemolymph and thus should be considered in taxonomic studies. Evidence suggests that these variables should be standardized.

The following subspecies of Triatoma rubida and their hybrids were used in this study: T. rubida uhleri, T. r. sonoriana, T. r. uhlerisonoriana, T. r. cochimiensis, and T. r. jaegeri. iii