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FIRST PUBLICATION, JUNE 2013. The Bioscientist. Vol. 1

The Bioscientist. Vol. 1(1):39-46, May, 2013
Available online at http://www.bioscientistjournal.com
Ezugbo-Nwobi and Eneanya, 2013. Page 39

Ecology and Biting Activity of Simulium Damnosum Complex in Nigeria: A Review
Ezugbo-Nwobi, I. K.* and Eneanya, C. I.
Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.
*Corresponding author: ifeomaezugbonwobi@yahoo.com.

ABTRACT (Download PDF)

Dipterous insects of Simulium damnosum (Theobald) species complex transmit the parasite, Onchocerca
volvulus which causes human onchocerciasis commonly called river blindness. S. damnosum breeds mainly in
fast flowing, well-oxygenated water bodies. Its distribution is not even across Nigeria as there is correlation
with basic geology. This is because the riverine conditions which create suitable breeding sites for the vector
are most common where the African Precambrian basement rock is exposed to break the flow of water and
create rapids. Ecological parameters such as water temperature, water pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonia content,
rainfall, current velocity, relative humidity and conductivity influence the breeding of S. damnosum complex in
Nigeria. Ecological factors which influence the adults include wind, humidity and light. Biting activity is
highly seasonal in Nigeria. It ceases for several months in the long dry season of the northern savannas when
rivers stop flowing, or are reduced to trickles and resumes only when rivers run again in the rains. On the other
hand, where the climate is almost uniform throughout the year and rivers run continuously, biting activity
occurs all-year round. Biting occurs outdoors at any daylight hour although each species may have its preferred

Key words: Ecology; Biting activity; Simulium damnosum s. l.

© 2013. Journal of Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University,

P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Nigeria.

email: thebioscientist@unizik.edu.ng



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