Do climatic and physical factors affect populations of the blow fly Chrysomya megacephala and house fly Musca domestica?
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The blow fly, Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius), and house fly, Musca domestica L., are medically and forensically important flies. The population dynamic of these flies is essential for both control and forensical aspects. The aim of this study was to investigate the climatic and physical factors affecting the population trend of both species in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, using the Geographic Information System (GIS). Based on systematic random sampling, 18 study sites were selected in three districts (Mueang Chiang Mai, Mae Rim, and Hang Dong). Six land use types were involved in the study sites, i.e., disturbed mixed deciduous, mixed deciduous forest, mixed orchard, lowland village, city, and paddy field. Adult flies were sampled every 2 weeks using an in-house prototype reconstructable funnel trap. Two types of bait were used—one with fresh beef viscera for luring M. domestica and the other with 1-day tainted beef viscera for luring C. megacephala. Collections were conducted from May 2009 to May 2010, and analysis of climatic factors (temperature, relative humidity, and light intensity) was carried out. Correlation bivariate analysis was performed initially to determine the relationship between climatic factors and the number of flies. Consequently, an ordinary co-kriging approach, in ArcGIS 9.2, was performed to predict the spatial distribution of flies with land use and climatic factors as co-variables. A total of 63,158 flies were captured, with C. megacephala being the most common species collected (68.37%), while only 1.3% were M. domestica, thus proving that C. megacephala was the most abundant species in several land use types. A significantly higher number of females than males was found in both species. Fly populations can be collected throughout most of the year with a peak in late summer, which shows a positive relation to temperature but negative correlation with relative humidity. C. megacephala was predicted to be abundant in every land use type, from lowland to forested areas, while the density of house fly was association with altitude and land use types.
KeywordsPaddy Field Musca Domestica Mixed Deciduous Forest Breeding Place Human Population Movement
This research was supported by grants from the Thailand Research Fund (RMU5080036 to KS), Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (PHD/0221/2548 to RN) and Forensic Center of Chiang Mai University (to KS). We thank the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University and Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Northern Region, Thailand for data and facilities.
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