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Effect of Malathion on Larval Competition in House Fly (Diptera: Muscidae) Populations

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We studied the competitive abilities of 2 strains of house flies, Musca domestica L., A14/WHO, a strain heterozygous for resistance gene(s), and bwb, a susceptible strain, at 4 densities 450, 900, 1,800, and 3,600 eggs per 100 g of medium in pure and mixed cultures in the absence and presence of malathion. Both genotypes exhibited lower survival, lower mean adult weight. and longer developmental time as the density increased in an environment free of insecticide. There was a relative advantage of Al4/WHO strain when mixed with bwb at densities >450/100 g. At high densities, bwb in mixed culture was at a disadvantage relative to its performance in pure culture. In an environment with insecticide only the males of the A14/WHO strain survived. During these experiments, we observed a parabolic relationship between the egg density and the number of emerging adults in control experiments without malathion treatment. When cultures were treated with malathion, however, this relationship became linear and number of emerging adults increased with egg density. Malathion treatment reduced the intensity of larval competition at high densities by killing part of the population, thereby increasing yield. Malathion treatment also caused the emergence of much heavier flies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1997

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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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