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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF TOOLS FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF STABLE FLIES

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Stable fly phenology in a mixed agricultural-wildlife ecosystem in northeast Montana

Authors
item Friesen, Kristina
item Johnson, Greg -

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 2012
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Friesen, K.M., Johnson, G.D. 2013. Stable fly phenology in a mixed agricultural-wildlife ecosystem in northeast Montana. Environmental Entomology. 42(1):49-57. DOI:ORG/10.1603/EN12231.

Interpretive Summary: Stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans (L.)) are a cosmopolitan species of blood-feeding Muscidae and an important pest of cattle. Although the cattle industry is the largest commodity in Montana, no research has been conducted on the abundance, distribution, or impact of stable flies in the state. Observations of stable flies attacking WNV-infected pelicans at a National Wildlife Refuge in close proximity to pastured and confined cattle provided an opportunity to describe stable fly phenology in a mixed agricultural-wildlife ecosystem. The objective of this investigation was to monitor and compare adult populations in three habitats (peninsula, pasture, confinement lot) located within 1.5 to 4.5 km of each other. Results revealed that temporal dynamics differed by site. Adult abundance was generally lowest at the confinement lot, the only location where larval development was identified. Stable flies were collected on all traps placed in pasture, with traps adjacent to pastured cattle consistently collecting the most. Adults were also collected on the peninsula supporting the pelicans’ nesting site, but whether the potential hosts or physical landscape served as an attractant is unclear. At all three sites, data indicated that overwintering was not successful and that a transition occurred from early season immigrating adults that utilized suitable local larval development substrates to subsequent autochthonous populations.

Technical Abstract: Stable fly phenology was monitored and compared at three habitats (peninsula, pasture, confinement lot) located within 1.5 to 4.5 km of each other in a mixed agricultural-wildlife ecosystem in northeast Montana. Results revealed that temporal dynamics differed by site. Adult abundance was generally lowest at the confinement lot, the only location where larval development was identified. Stable flies were collected on all traps placed in pasture, with traps adjacent to pastured cattle consistently collecting the most. Adults were also collected on the peninsula supporting the pelicans’ nesting site, but whether the potential hosts or physical landscape served as an attractant is unclear. At all three sites, data indicated that overwintering was not successful and that a transition occurred from early season immigrating adults that utilized suitable local larval development substrates to subsequent autochthonous populations.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014