Laboratory colonization of hematophagous insects must include an efficient method of blood feeding, preferably by artificial means. Strict rules for obtaining animal use permits, extensive animal maintenance costs, and indirect anesthesia effects on animal health warrant the development of an artificial membrane feeding technique for sand fly colonization in laboratories. An attempt was made to colonize Lutzomyia shannoni using an artificial blood feeding membrane to replace the use of live animals commonly used for sand fly blood-feeding purposes. Lutzomyia shannoni readily fed through a pig intestine membrane exposed at an angle of 45°. However, it did not feed through a chicken skin membrane. Olfactory attractants were unable to improve blood-feeding efficiency. Plaster of Paris was the most suitable oviposition substrate. Female L. shannoni adults laid no eggs on moist sand substrate. Sand fly adults held in groups of ten or more laid higher numbers of eggs than did individually maintained sand flies. Inclusion of the L. longipalpis oviposition hormone dodecanoic acid or the presence of previously laid eggs did not stimulate L. shannoni oviposition. The average L. shannoni egg, larval, and pupal duration were 9.3, 36.7, and 17.8 days, respectively. The addition of a 20% sugar solution improved adult female longevity. Females survived longer (14.8 days) than males (11.9 days). Lutzomyia shannoni was successfully colonized in the laboratory for up to four generations using this artificial membrane technique.
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