Laboratory rearing, toxicity of cyromazine and the effect of temperature and manure moisture on Ophyra aenescens (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Muscidae)

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The effect of protein in adult and larval diets for Ophyra aenescens (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Muscidae ), a facultative predator of the house fly, Musca domestica L., was examined. A larval diet of coarse wheat bran, vermiculite and dried meat powder was found adequate for rearing O. aenescens larvae. Protein content was important for maximum larval emergence and for F1 adult longevity and fecundity. Adult diet of powdered milk, sugar and dried meat powder was sufficient for maintenance of adult O. aenescens flies. Protein was needed in adult diet for optimal fecundity.

Cyromazine was toxic to O. aenescens at high levels (1.0 ppm), but at 0.75 ppm O. aenescens tolerated cyromazine better than a susceptible strain of house flies. At these cyromazine levels, mass release of O. aenescens into poultry houses is possible one to two days after cyromazine has been removed from the chicken feed.

The effect of temperature and manure moisture on O. aenescens was studied. At temperatures of 18°C, emergence of Ophyra aenescens was significantly lower than at temperatures of 21 and 27°C. Predation by O. aenescens at 27°C on house fly larvae was significant at ratios of 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1 (house fly to O. aenescens). A constant manure moisture was important in the development of O. aenescens larvae and its ability to prey on house fly larvae. At constant levels of 50, 60, and 70% manure moisture, O. aenescens substantially reduced house fly larval numbers at ratios of 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1.