Behavioral responses of Chrysomya megacephala to natural products
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- Bunchu, N., Sukontason, K.L., Olson, J.K. et al. Parasitol Res (2008) 102: 419. doi:10.1007/s00436-007-0780-8
Knowledge of the behavioral responses of medically important flies to natural stimuli is critical for the development of vector control strategies. We designed, constructed, and operated the dual-choice wind tunnel to investigate the behavioral responses of the blowfly, Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae), toward two important extrinsic factors (wind speed and olfactory stimuli) that affect the flight behavior of these flies. The dual-choice wind tunnel appeared as a “T-box,” consisting of two stimulus partitions and one median release partition. The correlation between wind speed and fly response showed a marked relationship, with the wind speed set at 0.5 m/s being the optimal speed. Of the 72 natural products tested, 24—all having high protein content—attracted flies at the level of greater than 50% in the rearing cages during preliminary tests, thus allowing further investigation in the dual-choice wind tunnel to further assess these responses. The behavioral response between flies exposed to the screening odors in a rearing cage and those exposed in the dual-choice wind tunnel showed a similar trend. One-day-tainted pork viscera yielded the greatest positive response among natural products tested, attracting greater than 90% of the flies included in the test population. One-day-tainted pork viscera exhibited the highest potency (1.578), exceeding 1-day-tainted beef liver, which is commonly used as the standard bait for blowflies. The usefulness and practical applications of the dual-choice wind tunnel for further investigations are also discussed.