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Institut de
Recherche sur la
Biologie de l'
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Team: Neuro-Ethologie
Tél : 02 47 36 73 89

Research theme:




Behavioural physiology of haematophagous insects 

Many arthropod species feed on vertebrate blood as main food.  Blood is rich in nutrients and, except for the presence of parasites, otherwise steryle.  This food is not freely available in and obtaining it is a risky task.  It circulates inside vessels hidden under the skin of mobile hosts, able to defend themselves from bitting and even predate on blood-sucking insects.

My research is foccused on the integrative analysis of the physiology and behaviour of haematophagous arthropods concerns the behavioural physiology, from an adaptive perspective.  By employing the methods and conceps of classical physiology, functional morphology and behavioural neurobiology, we try to better understand the adaptations of disease vector insects to the haematophagous way of life.

My main experimental model since many years ago are kissing bugs, responsibles for the transmission of Chagas disease in South and Central America, but I am also interested in other blood-sucking insects as mosquitoes, tsetse flies, lice, bedbugs, tick, etc.  Even though my research mostly concerns fondamental biological questions, I am also interested in applied aspects, as baits, traps, mass rearing using in vitro feeding, etc.

Major publications

2016 Casas J.; Lazzari C.R.; Insausti T.C.; Launais P.; Fouque, F. Mapping of courses on vector biology and vector-borne diseases systems: time for a worldwide effort. Mem. Inst. O. Cruz (in press, doi:10.1590/0074-02760160295).

2016 Paim R.M.M.; Araujo R.N.; Leis M.; Sant’anna M.; Gontijo N.F.; Lazzari C.R. & Pereira M.H. Functional evaluation of Heat Shock Proteins 70 (HSP70/HSC70) on Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera, Reduviidae) physiological responses associated with feeding and starvation. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 77, 10-20.

2016 Vinauger C.; Lahondère C.; Cohuet A.; Lazzari C.R. & Riffell J. Learning and memory in disease vector insects. Trends in Parasitology 32(10), 761–771.

2016 Leis M.; Pereira M.H.; Casas J.; Menu F. & Lazzari C.R. Haematophagy is costly: Respiratory patterns and metabolism during feeding in Rhodnius polixus. J. Exp. Biol. 219, 1820-1826.

2015 Mesquita R.; +60; Lazzari C.R.; +50. The genome of Rhodnius prolixus, an insect vector of Chagas disease, reveals unique adaptations to hematophagy and parasite infection.  PNAS 112(48): 14936-14941

2015 Vinauger C. & Lazzari C.R. Circadian modulation of learning abilities in a disease vector insect, Rhodnius prolixus. J. Exp. Biol. 218: 3110-3117

2015 Zermoglio P.F.; Latorre-Estivalis J.M.; Crespo J.E.; Lorenzo M.G. & Lazzari C.R. Thermosensation and the TRPV channel in Rhodnius prolixus. J. Insect Physiol. 81: 145–156

2015 Zermoglio P.F.; Martin-Herrou H.; Bignon Y. & Lazzari C.R. Rhodnius prolixus smells repellents: behavioural evidence and test of present and potential compounds inducing repellency in Chagas disease vectors. J. Insect Physiol. 81: 137–144

2015 Giurfa M; Farina, W.M., Lazzari C.R. & Roces F. Prof. Josué A. Núñez (1924-2014).  BeeWorld 91: 109-110

2015 Casas J.; Body M.; Gutzwiller F.; Giron D.; Lazzari C.R.; Pincebourde S.; Richard R. & Llandres A.L. Increasing metabolic rate despite declining body weight in an adult parasitoid wasp. J. Insect Physiol. 79: 27–35

2015 Lazzari C.R.; Farina W.M.; Giurfa M. & Roces F. In memoriam of Prof. Josué A. Núñez (1924–2014). J. Insect Physiol. 72: 52-53

2015 Lahondère C. & Lazzari, C.R. Thermal effect of blood feeding in the telmophagous fly Glossina morsitans morsitans. J. Thermal Biol. 48: 45–50

2014 Leonardi M.S. & Lazzari, C.R. Uncovering deep mysteries: The underwater life of an amphibious louse.  J. Insect Physiol. 71: 164–169

2014 Fresquet N. & Lazzari, C.R. Daily variation of the response to heat in Rhodnius prolixus: The roles of light and temperature as synchronisers. J. Insect Physiol. 70: 36–40

2014 Zopf L.; Lazzari, C.R. & Tichy H. Infrared detection without specialized infrared receptors in the bloodsucking bug Rhodnius prolixus J. Neurophysiol 112: 1606-1615 DOI: 10.1152/jn.00317.2014

2014 Zopf L.; Lazzari, C.R. & Tichy H. Differential effects of ambient temperature on warm cell responses to infrared radiation in the bloodsucking bug Rhodnius prolixus. J. Neurophysiol. 111: 1341-1349. doi:10.1152/jn.00716.2013

2014 Mota T., Vitta, A.C.R., Lorenzo Figueiras, A.N., Barezani, C.P., Zani, C.L., Lazzari, C.R., Diotaiuti, L., Jeffares, L., Bohman, B. & Lorenzo, M.G. A Multi-species Bait for Chagas Disease Vectors. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(2):e2677. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002677

2013 Latorre-Estivalis, J.M.; Lazzari, C.R.; Guarneri A.A.; Mota, T.R.P., Odour, B.A.O. & Lorenzo M.G. Genetic basis of triatomine behavior: lessons from available insect genomes.  Mem. Inst. O. Cruz 108(Suppl. I): 63-73.

2013 Lazzari, C.R., Pereira, M.H. & Lorenzo, M.G. Behavioural biology of Chagas disease vectors.  Mem. Inst. O. Cruz 108(Suppl. I): 34-47.

2013 Lorenzo Figueiras, A.; Flores, G.B. & Lazzari, C.R. The role of antennae in the thermopreference of haematophagous bugs. J. Insect Physiol. 59: 1194-1198.

2013 Insausti, T.C.; Le Gall M. & Lazzari, C.R. Oxidative stress, photodamage and the role of  screening pigments in insect eyes. J. Exp. Biol. 216: 3200-3207.

2013 Lahondère, C. & Lazzari, C.R. Thermal stress and thermorregulation during feeding in mosquitoes. En: Anopheles mosquitoes - New insights into malaria vectors, InTech Open, ISBN 980-953-307-550-6. pp. 525-538.

2013 Vinauger, C.; Lallement, H. & Lazzari, C.R. Learning and memory in Rhodnius prolixus: habituation and aversive operant conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) J. Exp. Biol. 216, 892-900.

2012 Nascimento Araújo, R.; de Figueiredo Gontijo, N.; Lazzari, C.R. & Pereira, M.H. Interação entre os insetos hematófagos e seus hospedeiros vertebrados. In: Tópicos avançados em Entomologia Molecular. INCT Brazil (

2012 Dupuy, F.; Steinmann, T; Pierre, D.; Christidès, J.-P.; Cummins, G.; Lazzari, C.; Miller, J. & Casas, J. Responses of cricket cercal interneurons to realistic naturalistic stimuli in the field.  J. Exp. Biol. 215: 2382-2389

2012 Insausti, T.C.; Defrize, J., Lazzari, C.R. & Casas, J. Visual fields and eye morphology support color vision in a color-changing spider. Arthropod Structure and Development 4: 155-163.

2012 Vinauger, C.; Pereira, M.H. & Lazzari, C.R. Learned host preference in a Chagas disease vector, Rhodnius prolixus. Acta Tropica 122: 24– 28.

2012 Lahondère, C. & Lazzari, C.R. Mosquitoes cool down during blood-feeding to avoid overheating. Current Biology 22 40-45, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.029.


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