Arthropods Associated with Livestock
Parasites of Filth Flies
Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans
(L.), and house flies, Musca domestica L., are cosmopolitan pests of livestock.
Stress induced by stable fly bites can reduce weight gain and feed conversion
efficiency in feeder cattle and reduce milk flow in dairy cattle, and house
flies transmit pathogens and are nuisance pests that annoy individuals in
livestock facilities and surrounding residential areas. Concerns regarding efficacy
and non-target effects of chemical controls have led to the search for native
and exotic parasites and predators of filth flies to reduce dependency on
chemicals for suppression of fly populations. Insect parasites associated with
filth-breeding livestock pests include hymenopterous
wasps of the superfamilies Chalcidoidea,
and Cynipoidea. Of these, chalcid
wasps of the family Pteromalidae dominate the pupal parasites (Pawson and Peterson
1989). Blume (1985) listed 14 chalcid
species in 4 genera, all pteromalids, as parasitizing
fly pests of livestock in America north of Mexico and Rueda
and Axtell (1985) produced a key to 10 common pteromalid
species in 5 genera associated with poultry and livestock manure. Since then
other native species have been discovered to be primary or secondary parasites
of filth flies, and a few species have been introduced
into North America from other regions for biological
control. Currently, 32 chalcid species in 13 genera
and 4 families have been recorded in the literature or are represented by
reared specimens in the Canadian or U.S.
national collections of insects. An illustrated key to differentiate these 32
species is presented on-line at http://????????????????.
Of the 32 species, 21 are known to both occur in Canada;
these species are indicated by as asterisk (*) in the list of species arranged by family and genus given
below. Agriculture and Agri-Food scientists in Lethbridge, Ottawa
and Charlottetown have been
studying the parasite complex across Canada.
Results demonstrate that the complex of species differs from region to region
and these regional differences may provide information for future use in biological
control programs against the house fly and stable fly, either through
introduction of new parasite species or selection of the most effective
commercially available species for any region.
Several chalcid species are commercially mass
cultured and sold for augmentative and inundative
control of filth-fly pests (Morgan 1986). Because
cultures are easily contaminated the parasites are sometimes sold as several
species or several species are included under one name. At least three species
of Spalangia have been introduced into North
America for biological control of filth flies. Spalangia
cameroni Perkins, first introduced into
California is now quite widely distributed, but it is uncertain whether S. gemina Boucek (introduced
into Florida) and S. longipetiolata Boucek (introduced into California) (Legner 1978) are established. Other Old
World species, such as S. endius Walker,
Curtis, and S. subpunctata Förster
may also have bee accidentally introduced into Canada or represent naturally
occurring Holarctic species. Three species of Muscidifurax,
M. raptorellus K. & L., M. rapteroides K. & L., and M. uniraptor
K. & L. have been introduced into North Amercia
from Central and South America (Legner
1978). These and other species of Muscidifurax
are distinguished primarily on biological and behavioural characteristics and
the exact distributions of the species remain uncertain.
Alphabetically by Family and Genus
species known to parasitize filth flies in Canada)
- E. (M.)
- M. raptor Girault & Sanders *
- M. raptorellus Kogan
- M. raptoroides Kogan
- M. uniraptor Kogan & Legner
- M. zaraptor Kogan & Legner *
- N. vitripennis (Walker)
- P. omnivorus (Walker)
cameroni Perkins *
- S. drosophilae
- S. erythromera Förster
- S. endius Walker
- S. gemina Boucek
- S. haematobiae Ashmead *
- S. longepetiolata Boucek
- S. nigra Latreille *
- S. nigroaenea Curtis *
- S. subpunctata Förster
- T. americana (Gahan) *
- T. dubia (Ashmead) *
- T. sarcophagae (Gahan) *
- T. tachinae (Gahan)
- T. viridescens (Walsh) *
- U. maritima (Walker) *
- U. rufipes (Ashmead) *
A checklist, distributional record,
and annotated bibliography of the insects associated with bovine droppings of
pastures in America
north of Mexico.
Southwest Entomologist, supplement 9. 55 pp.
Legner, E.F. 1978.
Muscidae. Pages 346-355 in
Clausen, C.P. (ed). Introduced Parasites and Predators
of Arthropod Pests and Weeds: A World Review. Agricultural
Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 545 pp.
Legner, E.F. and D.J. Greathead. 1969.
pupae in East African populations of Musca domestica and Stomoxys
calcitrans. Annals of the Entomological
Society of America
Legner, E.F. and G.S.
Activity of parasites from Diptera: Musca domestica, Stomoxys
calcitrans, and species of Fannia,
Muscina, and Ophyra.
II. At sites in the Eastern Hemisphere and Pacific Area.
Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Morgan, P.B. 1986.
Mass culturing microhymenopteran
pupal parasites (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
of filth breeding flies. Pages 77-87 in Patterson, R.S. and D. A. Rutz (eds).
Biological Control of Muscoid
Flies. Entomological Society of America,
Miscellaneous Publication 62: 1-174.
Pawson, B.M. and J.J. Peterson. 1989.
releases of pteromalid wasps. Making the most out of a little. Page B-112 in Abstracts,
International Symposium on Biological Control Implementation, McAllen,
Texas, April 4-6, 1989.
Peck, O. 1974.
(Hymenoptera) parasites of the horn fly, Haematobia
irritans (Diptera: Muscidae), in Alberta
and elsewhere in Canada.
Canadian Entomologist 106: 473-477.
Rueda, L.M. and R.C. Axtell. 1985.
Guide to common species of pupal parasites (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
of the house fly and other muscoid flies associated
with poultry and livestock manure. North Carolina
Agricultural Research Service, Technical Bulletin 278: 1-88.
Send to: Dr.
updated June 18, 1998 by J.D. Read, BRP/ECORC
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