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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING ARTHROPODS: SENSORY ECOLOGY AND SURVEILLANCE

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: Neurological and behavioral response of Musca Domestica L. to colored visual targets

Authors
item Diclaro, Joseph -
item Cohnstaedt, Lee
item Pereira, Roberto -
item Allan, Sandra
item Koehler, Phil -

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 29, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: House flies are a typical pest of domestic and rural areas and are typically controlled with chemicals or baited with traps. In this study by researchers in Gainesville, FL, house fly vision was examined by measuring their visual sensitivity colors based on their physiological response. This data was then used to create visual targets which were tested for their attractiveness to house flies based on color. This study found flies more attracted to blue and white and less attracted to yellow. The addition of black lines increased the attractiveness of the blue targets. A better understanding of house fly attraction to colors and their behavior in the presence of colors will aid in the design of better control measures.

Technical Abstract: In order to further understand visual attraction of house flies to colors and patterns, and the relation with fly trap performances, we conducted electroretinograms (ERG) studies of house fly compound eyes and ocelli and compared the fly physiological response to the behavioral attraction to reflective colors and patterns in light tunnel assays. Compound eye and ocellus ERG responses were similar, with highest response to white and blue followed by yellow. However, light tunnel assays showed that flies were attracted to blue and white but were less attracted to yellow. The addition of a black line pattern enhanced the attractiveness of the blue visual target, whereas yellow decreased the attractiveness of the blue. The compound eye and the ocellus information seems to be integrated to direct fly behavior with a direct correlation of house fly attractiveness to visual targets and the intensity of neurological response, except for the yellow targets.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014