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Title: Detection of Blood in Stable Flies (Diptera: Muscidae) with Hemoccult® Test Strips

item Taylor, David - Dave
item Broce, Alberto
item Berkebile, Dennis

Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/19/2008
Publication Date: 11/19/2008
Citation: Taylor, D.B., Broce, A., Berkebile, D.R. 2008. Detection of Blood in Stable Flies (Diptera: Muscidae) with Hemoccult® Test Strips. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, November 16-19, 2008, Reno, Nevada. Poster No. D306. Available at:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Hemoccult® test kits were used to detect the remnants of blood meals in stable flies. The strips were able to detect remnants of blood meals in > 90% of the stable flies up to 8 days after blood feeding. This can be compared with detecting blood in the gut visually which was possible in less than 5% of the flies more than 24 h after blood feeding. A method was developed to test stable flies for both blood feeding with the Hemoccult® technique and sugar feeding with the anthrone technique. Examination of field collected stable flies indicated that > 40% of the flies had blood-fed and 10% had sugar-fed. The frequency of blood feeding did not differ between male and female stable flies but did differ among the 4 field locations. The frequency of flies with both blood and sugar differed from that expected based upon the frequency of each alone at three of the four locations. However, that frequency did not differ from the expected value when the four locations were combined. Results indicate that the Hemoccult® test strips are an effective method for detecting blood meals in stable flies. Although the Hemoccult method was much more sensitive than the visual technique, one disadvantage was that, because it could detect blood for such a long time after feeding, the number or recency of the blood meals taken by a fly cannot be quantified.