Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus) as a Factor in the Natural Control of Musca domestica Linnaeus1

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Hermetia illucens, (Linn.) was reared in the laboratory from field-collected larvae. Newly hatched larvae required 2 weeks or longer to attain full growth at a temperature of 30. in moist standard house fly breeding medium. No evidence of paedogenesis was demonstrated. Larvae displayed little resistance to freezing. The pupal stage lasted from 2 weeks to 5 months at temperatures ranging from 21 to 28. Adult flies held at temperatures around 30° C. were active and fed on hone,}'diluted with water or sugar-water solutions. Adults were eurygamous, refusing to mate in cages of 25 cu. ft. volume. Sterile egg masses were deposited. In combined laboratory cultures of H. illucens with Musca domestica Linn. the per cent of successful development of house flips decreased as the number of actively feeding larvae of H. illucens was increased. This relationship was modified by the total amount of larval medium available. H. illcens larvae were not cannibalistic or predacious on house fly larvae, although they ate dead flies. Field observations over a period from October 1957 through September 1958, in the upper San Joaquin Valley of California, demonstrated adult H. illucens activity from April to November, with a peak in late August. Larvae occurred in poultry manure throughout the year, but were relatively inactive during winter months. House flies were very rarely found breeding in manure where H. illucens larvae were abundant. Artificial infestation of poultry droppings with H. illucens larvae prevented house fly breeding, while adjacent moist control sections became heavily infested with house flies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1959

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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