Habitat Preferences and Activity Patterns of Glossina Swynnertoni Austen (Diptera: Glossinidae) in Aitong, Masai Mara, Kenya

  • Paul N. NdegwaEmail author
  • Steve Mihok
  • Florence A. Oyieke
Research Article


The habitat preferences and activity patterns of Glossina swynnertoni Austen were studied using Siamese traps, electrified screens and vehicle patrols in Aitong, southwestern Kenya in three habitats: large thicket, wooded grassland and an Acacia community. Except in the Acacia community, G. swynnertoni occurred in association with Glossina pallidipes Austen. Apparent density varied significantly among the three habitats, being highest in the Acacia community, intermediate in wooded grassland and lowest in large thickets. Density also varied seasonally, with higher densities occurring in the rainy season than in the dry season in all three areas. Vehicle patrol was a more effective and rapid method for sampling G. swynnertoni than either Siamese traps or electrified screens. However, vehicle patrol catches were strongly biased in favour of males (4:1). Diurnal activity in the Acacia community was unimodal for both sexes, with peaks of activity occurring at 1100–1200 h for males and at 1400–1500 h for females. Both sexes remained active in the afternoon but activity declined rapidly towards dusk (1700–1800 h).

Key Words

Glossina swynnertoni sampling traps electrified screens vehicle patrols habitat features eco-distribution apparent density activity patterns 


Les préférences d’habitat et les rythmes d’activité de Glossina swynnertoni Austen ont été étudiés à l’aide de pièges de Siamese, d’écrans electrifies et de récoltes (patrouilles) en voiture, à Aitong, dans le Sud-ouest du Kenya dans trois habitats des grands bosquets, de la savane arborée et une forêt d’acacias. A l’exception de la forêt d’acacias, G. swynnertoni est rencontrée en association avec G. pallidipes Austen. La densité apparente varie significativement entre les trois habitats; elles est la plus forte dans la forêt d’acacias, intermédiaire en savane arborée et plus faible dans les grands bosquets. La densité varie également avec la saison, avec de plus fortes densités observées en saison des pluies par rapport à la saison sèche dans les trois habitats. Les captures réalisées lors des patrouilles en voiture sont plus efficaces et rapides pour l’échantillonnage de G. swynnertoni que les pièges de Siamese, et que les écrans électrifiés; ces captures sont cependant fortement biaisées en faveur des mâles (4:1). L’activité diurne dans la forêt d’acacias est unimodale pour les deux sexes, avec des pics d’activité entre 1100–1200 h pour les mâles et 1400–1500 pour les femelles. Les deux sexes restent actifs dans l’après-midi mais l’activité décline rapidement vers le crépuscule (1700–1800 h).

Mots Clés

Glossina swynnertoni pièges écrans electrifies patrouille en véhicule caractéristiques de l’habitat eco-distribution densité apparente rythme d’activité 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul N. Ndegwa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steve Mihok
    • 2
  • Florence A. Oyieke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  2. 2.International Centre of Insect Physiology and EcologyNairobiKenya

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