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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #158232


item Geden, Christopher - Chris

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/8/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Geden, C.J., Moon, R.D., Butler, J.A. 2006. Host ranges of six solitary filth fly parasitoids (hymenoptera: pteromalidae, chalcididae) from Florida, Eurasia, Morocco, and Brazil. Environmental Entomology. 35(2):405-412.

Interpretive Summary: Biological control is an important component of integrated management systems for flies associated with livestock, poultry and horses. Parasitic wasps are among the most important biocontrol agents for flies, and there are several commercial insectaries that provide these wasps to farmers. There are about a dozen native species of wasps that are available for commercial production, but it remains unclear which species are most effective in different situations (e.g. poultry versus dairy farms) and for controlling different species of pest flies. This study was conducted by a scientist at USDA's Center for Medical, Veterinary and Agricultural Entomology in Gainesville (Florida) and collaborators at the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida as part of a larger effort to improve our ability to match wasp species with their intended fly control application. Different strains of six common wasps were evaluated for their ability to kill and reproduce on four economically important fly species (house fly, stable fly, horn fly, and black dump fly) and a blow fly that commonly occurs around farms. All but two of the wasp species readily attacked all of the pest flies, and only one was able to reproduce on the blow fly. These results will help guide future efforts to use biological fly control to reduce our dependence on pesticides.

Technical Abstract: Attack rates, progeny production, sex ratios and host utilization efficiency of Muscidufurax raptor Girualt and Sanders, Spalangia cameroni Perkins, S. endius (Walker), S. nigroaenea Curtis, S. gemina Boucek (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) and Dirhinus himalayanus (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) were evaluated in laboratory bioassays with five dipteran hosts: house fly (Musca domestica L.), Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans L.), horn fly (Haematobia irritans [L.]), black dump fly (Hydrotaea aenescens [Weidemann]) (Diptera: Muscidae) and a flesh fly (Sarcophaga bullata Parker) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). M. raptor, S.cameroni, and S. endius readily attacked and produced progeny on all five host species, with substantially lower production from S. bullata than from the muscid hosts. Rates of host attacks by S. nigroaenea and S. gemina were similar on house fly, stable fly and black dump fly hosts, with lower rates on horn fly; almost no progeny were produced by S. nigroaenea on S. bullata hosts. D. himalayanus, a large-bodied chalcidid parasitoid, had highest rates of host attacks and progeny production on S. bullata and H. aenescens, followed by stable fly and house fly hosts; very few progeny were produced by this species on horn fly hosts. Overall differences among different geographic strains of parasitoids (from Russia, Kazkhstan and Florida) were generally small, although the Florida strain of M. raptor was superior to the two Eurasian strains.