The biological parameters related to the life cycles of three populations of Meccus picturatus (Usinger) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), one of the main vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas (Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae), were evaluated. A cohort of each of three populations from geographically isolated localities in western Mexico was maintained under similar laboratory conditions, after which all three populations were compared to each other. In each cohort, 50.9 to 72.1% of nymphs completed the cycle. The average time from N1 to adult was approximately 175 days and different for the three studied cohorts. The number of blood meals between molts varied from one to three. The hatching rates as well as the fecundity per female per day were different among the three studied populations. Our results show that the three isolated populations are statistically different in some parameters from each other, which points to the importance of studying the biological characteristics of local populations of triatomines for estimating their capacity of transmitting T. cruzi to reservoir hosts.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1