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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A New Method for Collecting Clean Stable Fly (Diptera: Muscidae) Pupae of Known Age

item Berkebile, Dennis
item Weinhold, Anthony
item Taylor, David - Dave

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2008
Publication Date: 12/15/2009
Publication URL:
Citation: Berkebile, D.R., Weinhold, A.P., Taylor, D.B. 2009. A New Method for Collecting Clean Stable Fly (Diptera: Muscidae) Pupae of Known Age. Southwestern Entomologist. (34):469-476.

Interpretive Summary: Stable flies feed on the blood of warm blooded animals and are an important pest of cattle These insects are reared in the laboratory in order to study their biology. The larvae develop in decaying vegetation. The larvae normally seek a moist area that protects the pupae from desiccation. This preference for moist areas led us to develop a method to simplify the recovery of the pupae in the laboratory and to make it possible to obtain pupae of known age for biological studies. The larvae were lured to pupate on a plastic shelf with a moistened cloth. The majority of the pupae (~83%) were collected by this method. This allowed us to study the rate at which pupation occurs over time under laboratory conditions.

Technical Abstract: Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans L., are important pest of confined and pasture cattle. They have been reared in the laboratory to study their biology and to test new methods of control. Research on rearing modifications has concentrated on developing larval diets from materials that are locally abundant. Under current protocols, pupae form in the medium. Aggregations of pupae were located and removed, often with a considerable amount of extraneous material. Various methods have been developed to separate the pupae from waste material. We describe a method by which wandering larvae are enticed to leave the medium prior to pupariation. The larvae were attracted to a moist cloth on a shelf positioned at the end of the rearing pan. Nearly 83% of the wandering larvae were collected on the shelf. This simplifies obtaining clean pupae and allows for collecting pupae of known age for experimental work. We also include data on the rate at which the larvae wandered onto the shelf under our laboratory rearing conditions.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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