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Larval predation by Chrysomya albiceps on Cochliomyia macellaria, Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya putoria

Faria, L. del B., Orsi, L., Trinca, L.A., Godoy, W.A.C.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1999 v.90 no.2 pp. 149-155
Chrysomya albiceps, Cochliomyia macellaria, Chrysomya megacephala, larvae, predation, predator-prey relationships, introduced species, community ecology, Chrysomya putoria
Chrysomya albiceps, the larvae of which are facultative predators of larvae of other dipteran species, has been introduced to the Americas over recent years along with other Old World species of blowflies, including Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya putoria and Chrysomya rufifacies. An apparent correlate of this biological invasion has been a sudden decline in the population numbers of Cochliomyia macellaria, a native species of the Americas. In this study, we investigated predation rates on third instar larvae of C. macellaria, C. putoria and C. megacephala by third instar larvae of C. albiceps in no-choice, two-choice and three-choice situations. Most attacks by C. albiceps larvae occurred within the first hour of observation and the highest predation rate occurred on C. macellaria larvae, suggesting that C. albiceps was more dangerous to C. macellaria than to C. megacephala and C. putoria under these experimental conditions. The rates of larvae killed as a result of the predation, as well as its implications to population dynamics of introduced and native species are discussed.