Sandiso Mnguni

 Entomology Masters Candidate


Office: F11, First Floor, Life Science Building


BSc (Hons), University of Pretoria (2014)

Thesis title: Chemical ecology and behavioural observations of cryptic species of Eccritotarsus sp. (Carvalho) (Hemiptera), biological control agents of water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes (Martius) Solms-Laubach (Pontederiaceae).

Supervisor: Dr Iain Paterson   Co-Supervisors: Prof Julie Coetzee & Dr Unathi Heshula

Sandiso completed his Honours in Entomology degree at the University of Pretoria in 2014. His study assessed the effects of larval and adult diet in desiccation resistance of the marula fruit fly, Ceratitis cosyra (Walker) (Diptera: Tephritidae), to be able to predict the distribution pattern of the crop pest. During his final undergraduate year in 2013, he was in charge of the rearing facilities of forensic flies at Walter Sisulu University and is acknowledged in a published paper titled “Human myasis in rural South Africa is under-reported”. His current work involves assessing the chemical compound composition and behavioural interbreeding experiments of cryptic species of Eccritotarsus sp. (Carvalho), biological control agents of water hyacinth. His work is driven by Taylor et al. (2011), who discovered that the two populations (Brazil and Peru) are highly differentiated and distinct from each other, and possess a 5.2% haplotype sequence divergence using mtDNA. Also, Paterson et al. (2016) reported 29 fixed differences between the two populations using ISSRs loci. Peruvian female crossed with Brazilian male interbreeding experiments produced no offspring. Sandiso then aims to determine whether pheromones or behavioural traits can explain the speciation that led to the reproductive isolation of these cryptic species.

Last Modified: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 16:12:45 SAST