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Vision in the common bed bug Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae): eye morphology and spectral sensitivity
- MCNEILL, C. A., ALLAN, S. A., KOEHLER, P. G., PEREIRA, R. M., WEEKS, E. N. I.
- Medical and veterinary entomology 2016 v.30 no.4 pp. 426-434
- Cimex hemipterus, Cimex lectularius, adults, electrophysiology, eyes, females, image analysis, instars, males, pests, photoreceptors, pigments, public health, screening, traps, vision, wavelengths, United States
- Bed bugs as pests of public health importance recently experienced a resurgence in populations throughout the U.S. and other countries. Consequently, recent research efforts have focused on improving understanding of bed bug physiology and behaviour to improve management. While few studies have investigated the visual capabilities of bed bugs, the present study focused specifically on eye morphology and spectral sensitivity. A 3‐D imaging technique was used to document bed bug eye morphology from the first instar through adult and revealed morphological characteristics that differentiate the common bed bug from the tropical bed bug as well as sex‐specific differences. Electrophysiological measurements were used to evaluate the spectral sensitivity of adult bed bugs. Male bed bugs were more responsive than females at some wavelengths. Electrophysiological studies provided evidence for at least one photoreceptor with a spectral sensitivity curve peak in the green (λₘₐₓ 520 nm) region of the spectrum. The broadened long wavelength portion of the spectral sensitivity curve may potentially indicate another photoreceptor in the yellow–green (λₘₐₓ 550 nm) portion of the spectrum or screening pigments. Understanding more about bed bug visual biology is vital for designing traps, which are an important component of integrated bed bug management.