Monitoring Adult-Populations of the Screwworm (Diptera, Calliphoridae) with Feeding Stations Baited with Liver

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Economic Entomology



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Populations of the screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel), were monitored by capturing adults with hand nets from rotted liver set on the ground. Adults were marked and released. During the 61-d study conducted in a tropical dry forest in the dry season January to March 1989), 2,640 individual females and 460 individual males were recorded at the four liver-baited stations. The total number of visits by females was 5,769 and by males 510. The mean number of unmarked adults per day was 44.1 females and 7.6 males in an area of almost-equal-to 2.59 km2. The mean percentage of marked flies that were recovered was 64.3%. The mean number of feeding stations visited, times recaptured, and days in the study area by individual females was 2.1, 2.4, and 4.5, respectively. Daily visitational patterns by both sexes at the feeding stations were bimodal with peaks occurring between the hours of 0730 to 0859 and 1500 to 1629. Flies were most active when the mean temperature was 29.8-degrees-C; the majority of the visits occurred when air temperatures were between 26 and 33-degrees-C. Most females attracted to feeding stations were nulliparous (70.7%) and mated (69.7%). Our results suggest that observing adults at feeding stations is a reliable method of obtaining data on the behavior and population dynamics of indigenous populations of screwworm adults in tropical habitats. Although this method was labor intensive, the amount of data gleaned from the manipulation of wild populations more than compensated for such costs

Subject Area

Pathogens and Parasites

Taxonomic Grouping

Wasps and other insects

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