Rearing Stable Fly Larvae (Diptera: Muscidae) on an Egg Yolk Medium

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The growth and survival of Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) larvae on egg yolk medium inoculated with bacteria isolated from a colony of stable flies was evaluated. Five species of bacteria—Acinetobacter sp., Aeromonas sp., Empedobacter breve (Holmes & Owen), Flavobacterium odoratum Stutzer, and Serratia marcescens Bizio—were identified according to fatty acid profiles using a microbial identification system. Larvae failed to develop on uninoculated plates, confirming that bacteria are required to complete development. Larvae also failed to complete development on plates inoculated with Aeromonas sp. and S. marcescens, and died during the 1st instar. Larvae completed development on the remaining 3 bacterial species as well as on Escherichia coli(Migula). Survival was generally higher when larvae were reared on Acinetobacter sp. and F. odoratum compared with E. coli and E. breve. Egg density did not influence larval survival, although the variability in survival was lowest using 20 and 40 eggs per plate. Larval survival in mixed cultures of Acinetobacter and Flavobacterium averaged 22.7% lower than survival in the pure cultures, and averaged 21.6% higher in mixed cultures of Empedobacter and Flavobacterium compared with pure cultures. Larval survival in mixed cultures did not differ significantly from mean survival in pure cultures for combinations of Acinetobacter and E. coli, Acinetobacter and Empedobacter, E. coli and Empedobacter, and E. coli and Flavobacterium. Larval developmental time was faster on all mixed bacterial cultures compared with developmental time on pure bacterial cultures. Optimal sample sizes and egg numbers are presented for detecting specified differences in larval survival. This rearing procedure will be useful for studying insect–microbe interactions and evaluating mortality using bacterial agents.

Keywords: Stomoxys calcitrans; bacteria; development; growth; larval survival

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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  • Journal of Medical Entomology is published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November. The journal publishes reports on all phases of medical entomology and medical acarology, including the systematics and biology of insects, acarines, and other arthropods of public health and veterinary significance.

    The journal is divided into the following sections: Morphology, Systematics, Evolution; Sampling, Distribution, Dispersal; Development, Life History; Population and Community Ecology; Behavior, Chemical Ecology; Population Biology/Genetics; Molecular Biology/Genomics; Neurobiology, Physiology, Biochemistry; Vector Control, Pest Management, Resistance, Repellents; Arthropod/Host Interaction, Immunity; Vector/Pathogen/Host Interaction, Transmission; Vector-Borne Diseases, Surveillance, Prevention; Direct Injury, Myiasis, Forensics; Modeling/GIS, Risk Assessment, Economic Impact. In addition to full-length research articles, the journal publishes interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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