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Evaluation of field propagation of Muscidifurax zaraptor (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) for control of flies associated with confined beef cattle

Petersen, J.J., Watson, D.W., Pawson, B.M.
Journal of economic entomology 1992 v.85 no.2 pp. 451-455
beef cattle, Musca domestica, mortality, biological control, Muscidifurax zaraptor, parasites, Nebraska
The parasitic wasp Muscidifurax zaraptor Kogan & Legner was mass reared in the field to control house flies, Musca domestica L., on two Nebraska beef cattle confinements. About 50,000 freeze-killed house fly pupae were exposed to a single release of M. zaraptor in the field. Placement of six additional cohorts of 50,000 freeze-killed pupae at the release sites at 2-wk intervals resulted in a mean parasite emergence of 56.4% over the study period. Mean fly mortality of 37.3 and 25.9% occurred in sentinel pupae placed around the perimeter of two release sites, compared with 3.9% for two control sites. We demonstrated a negative correlation between host reduction in sentinel cohorts and distances the cohorts were placed from parasite release sites. However, data indicated that other environmental factors also influenced the success of M. zaraptor in locating sentinel hosts. Correlation between mortality in sentinel pupae and numbers of parasites released was not evident. Temperatures above approximately 28 degrees C appeared to reduce the effectiveness of M. zaraptor.