Location: Agroecosystem Management Research
2006 Annual Report
Although stable flies have been considered a serious pest of livestock, humans and pets for over 100 years, the biology of this insect is poorly understood and they continually adapt to changing manure and feed management practices. This project will develop fundamental knowledge on the biology of stable flies in the upper Great Plains with the primary goal of determining the sources of pestiferous stable fly populations in the pasture environment. Specific areas of investigation will include.
Fifty percent of this project is devoted to addressing Component 2 (Detection and Surveillance Technology) and 50% addresses Component 3 (Biology, Physiology and Vector-Pathogen Interaction) of NP 104, “Veterinary, Medical and Urban Entomology”. We seek to better understand the biology of the stable fly in order to develop more effective methods to reduce their populations, thereby controlling and limiting their economic impact on the livestock industry.
1. Collect stable flies from populations across North America for genetic analysis.
2. Develop Microsatellite and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers and a complimentary DNA (cDNA) library.
3. Initiate survey of potential stable fly breeding habitats in eastern Nebraska and develop a qualitative and quantitative sampling protocol.
4. Initiate year round monitoring of adult stable fly populations.
5. Evaluate adult dispersal by conducting a mark-recapture study.
6. Survey potential overwintering sites and quantify their contribution to spring population with emergence traps.
Year 2 (FY 2006)
1. Develop Single Stranded Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP) markers.
2. Complete the initial genetic screen of geographic stable fly populations and write a manuscript.
3. Quantitatively and qualitatively sample primary larval habitats and associated parasites and predators weekly and survey for secondary larval habitats.
4. Continue monitoring adult stable flies throughout the year.
5. Quantify physical characteristics of positive natural larval overwintering sites and monitor adult populations with emergence traps in the spring.
6. Construct artificial overwintering sites to monitor the temperature and humidity. Use emergence traps to monitor adult flies in the spring.
Year 3 (FY 2007)
1. Initiate nuclear activation analysis to develop chemical fingerprints of adult stable fly populations.
2. Initiate screen of temporal stable fly populations.
3. Continue year 2 weekly quantitative and qualitative sampling of primary habitats to monitor SF production, parasites and predators
4. Extend the geographical survey area for larval habitats in order to include variation in livestock husbandry practices.
5. Continue to quantify physical characteristics of positive larval overwintering sites.
6. Initiate laboratory studies on extending larval developmental times.
7. Initiate monitoring seasonal variation in gene frequencies.
Year 4 (FY 2008) 1. Initiate mass spectrometer analysis of adult stable fly populations to develop chemical fingerprints of adult stable fly populations.
2. Continue genetic analysis of geographic and temporal stable fly populations.
3. Continue weekly quantitative and qualitative sampling of primary larval habitats, parasites and predators.
4. Continue to extend the geographical survey area for larval habitats.
5. Continue quantification of physical characteristics of positive larval overwintering sites.
6. Develop a larval growth model using overwintering parameters.
7. Survey local seasonal SF populations for variations in chemical analysis, using nuclear activation and mass spectrometry.
Year 5 (FY 2009) 1. Complete genetic analysis of geographic and temporal stable fly populations
2. Complete chemical fingerprint analysis of stable fly populations
3. Complete qualitative and quantitative studies of larval habitats studies and write a manuscript.
4 Use climatic variables to develop an adult population model and write a manuscript.
5. Continue survey of local seasonal adult stable fly populations for variations in chemical analysis
Historically, stable flies were considered to be primarily pests of confined animals with their larval developmental sites associated with confined animal or barnyard situations. The MLIRU developed strategies to effectively control stable flies in the confined animal environment primarily based upon sanitation. Subsequently, the MLIRU was among the first to see the transition of stable flies from barnyard to pasture pests. In collaboration with scientists from the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University, we identified the use of large round hay bales in pastures for winter feeding as the primary factor for the increase of stable flies in the pasture environment. These large round bale feeding sites have effectively moved the barnyard environment into the pastures. The current project will concentrate on determining the biology of stable flies in pastures to support the development of equally effective management strategies reducing stable fly impact on pastured livestock.
Taylor, D.B., R. Moon, A. Broce, J. B. Campbell and P. J. Moon. December 12-17, 2005. Dispersal of Stable Flies from Larval Habitats. Oral Presentation. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Taylor, D.B. December 12-17, 2005. Highlights of Veterinary Entomology. Oral Presentation. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.