The Effect of Humidity and Temperature on the Extent of Abdominal Pigmentation in Glossina Pallidipes Austen.

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Bursell E.
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In 1953, Dr. E. Burtt, then of the East African Trypanosomiasis Research Organization, discovered that if puparia of G. pallidipes Aust. were maintained in dry air the emerging flies failed to develop the dark abdominal banding normally characteristic of the species. Conversely, with puparia maintained at high humidities the emerging flies showed intense blackening of the bands. Previous to this discovery, Dr. Burtt had made extensive collections of flies from the field, and had noted that there appeared to be a seasonal variation in the colour of G. pallidipes collected at Shinyanga, Tanganyika, with pale flies predominating at the end of the hot, dry season (see Jackson, 1954, for a report of this work) t. Unfortunately Dr. Burtt was unable to extend these interesting observations before his retirement in 1956, and it became the privilege of the present author to pursue the question a little further in an attempt to systematise the variations occurring under natural conditions and interpret them in terms of laboratory findings. Many details of the problem have still to be elucidated, but the preliminary results were thought to be of sufficient interest to warrant publication.