Zoological Studies

Vol. 50 No. 4, 2011

Occurrence and Distribution of Microflora in the Gut Regions of the Variegated Grasshopper Zonocerus variegatus (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) during Development

Kehinde O. Ademolu* and Adewunmi B. Idowu

Biological Sciences Department, Univ. of Agriculture, Abeokuta P.M.B 2240, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

Kehinde O. Ademolu* and Adewunmi B. Idowu (2011) The variegated grasshopper Zonocerus variegatus, like other insects, harbors microorganisms in its alimentary canal system. In this study, we investigated the occurrence and distribution of microflora in the gut regions of Z. variegatus during post embryonic development (1st instar to the adult stage) and food plants it consumed using a pour-plate method. The colony forming units (cfu) of bacteria, yeasts, and molds increased from the 1st instar stage to the adult stage, with the midgut having the highest occurrence of the 3 gut regions. Staphylococcus aureus was the most widely distributed bacteria in the gut while Klebsiella spp. were the least. In the mold category, Penicillium sp. and Aspergillus niger had the widest distributions, whereas Candida sp. was the only isolated yeast. There was a positive relationship (r2 = 0.4797) between bacterial cfu and the stage of development of the insect. Similarity was observed in the species of organisms isolated from the gut regions and food plants consumed by the insects. The relevance of gut microflora to the insect hosts and their mode of transmission are further discussed.

Key words: Gut microflora, Zonocerus variegatus, Food plant, Transmission mode.

*Correspondence: E-mail:kennyademolu@yahoo.com