Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pollen recovered from the exoskeleton of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) in Gainesville, Florida

Authors
item Jarzen, David - FL. NAT. HIST. MUS.
item Hogsette, Jerome

Submitted to: Palynology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2008
Publication Date: December 31, 2008
Citation: Jarzen, D.M., Hogsette, J.A. 2008. Pollen from the exoskeletons of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (Linnaeus 1758), in Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A. Palynology. 32:77-81.

Interpretive Summary: Stable flies are noxious pest of animals and humans. Both sexes are blood feeders and their bites are painful. Although blood meals are requisite for reproduction, these flies also visit flowers and take nectar meals for energy. Identification of plants used by stable flies will provide information about fly behavior, especially foraging behavior. When stable flies trapped on sticky traps in spring studies were found to be covered in pollen, scientists at the USDA-ARS-CMAVE Gainesville, FL worked cooperatively with scientists at the Paleobotany and Palynology Laboratory at the Florida Museum of Natural History to identify this pollen. The pollen on all specimens was identified as Carolina willow, Salix caroliniana. This small tree or shrub is found throughout Florida in wetland areas.

Technical Abstract: Stable flies are pestiferous blood feeding flies that attack animals and humans. Besides consuming blood, these flies will also visit flowers to take nectar meals. When feeding on nectar, flies become coated with pollen which can be used to identify flowers used by the flies. Recently, flies covered with pollen were captured. All pollen on fly specimens was from the Carolina willow, Salix caroliniana. This small tree or shrub is found throughout Florida in wetland areas.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014