Acta Biotheoretica 44 (3-4):317-333 (1996)
Glossina or tsetse flies, the vectors of sleeping sickness, form a unique group of insects with remarkable characteristics. They are viviparous with a slow rhythm of reproduction (one larva approximately every 10 days) determined by the regular ovulation of alternate ovaries. This unusual physiology enables the age of the females to be estimated by examining the ovaries.The resulting ovarian age structure of tsetse fly populations has been used to develop research into the demography of tsetse flies. Several authors have proposed methods of estimating population growth rates from ovarian age distribution data. However, such methods are applicable only when the growth rate () is equal to 1 (i.e. the intrinsic rate of increase r is equal to 0). In fact, in this type of estimation, the adult survival rate a (or equivalently the mortality rate) cannot be dissociated from the growth rate.
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