Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 8, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Lohmeyer, K.H., Kammlah, D.M., Pruett Jr, J.H. 2006. White eye color mutant in Haematobia irritans (Diptera: Muscidae). Annuals of the Entomological Society of America. 99(5):966-968. Interpretive Summary: Horn flies normally have eyes that are dark reddish-brown. A white-eyed horn fly was found in a colony of horn flies maintained at the Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, Kerrville, TX. Crosses were performed that determined the white-eye mutation was not sex-linked and the white-eyed flies have decreased amounts of eye pigment present within the head. Visible genetic markers such as an eye color mutation in an economically important species like the horn fly be useful for behavior and population dynamic studies, as well as release and recapture studies.
Technical Abstract: The wild-type eye color of the horn fly, Haematobia iritans (L.), is a dark reddish-brown. An apparent spontaneous mutation in a single adult colony fly resulted in a white-eyed mutant. A colony of white-eyed horn flies was established from this single individual and has been maintained in the laboratory. Laboratory crosses determined that the white-eyed phenotype is inherited as a simple Mendelian autosomal recessive with complete penetrance. No other differences from the wild-type flies were detected in the external characteristics of the mutant phenotype or in egg viability. However, white-eyed flies had significantly lower amounts of the pigment dihydroxyxanthommatin in their heads suggesting either the lack of xanthommatin production, or a failure of transport and storage within the head of the mutant phenotype.