Parasitology Research

, Volume 109, Issue 5, pp 1279–1292 | Cite as

Do climatic and physical factors affect populations of the blow fly Chrysomya megacephala and house fly Musca domestica?

  • Ratchadawan Ngoen-klan
  • Kittikhun Moophayak
  • Tunwadee Klong-klaew
  • Kim N. Irvine
  • Kabkaew L. Sukontason
  • Chira Prangkio
  • Pradya Somboon
  • Kom SukontasonEmail author
Original Paper


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.


Paddy Field Musca Domestica Mixed Deciduous Forest Breeding Place Human Population Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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.


  1. Anderson DL, Sedgley M, Short JRT, Allwood AJ (1982) Insect pollination of mango in northern Australia Mangifera indica, includes Apis mellifera. Aust J Agric Res 33:541–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Avancini RM, Silveira GA (2000) Age structure and abundance in populations of muscoid flies from a poultry facility in Southeast Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 95:259–264PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Black WC, Krafsur ES (1986) Seasonal breeding structure in house fly, Musca domestica L., populations. Heredity 56:289–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bohart GE, Gressitt JL (1951) Filth-inhabiting flies of Guam. Bull Bernice P Bishop Mus 204:1–151Google Scholar
  5. Bong LJ, Zairi J (2009) Temporal changes in the abundance of Musca domestica Linn (Diptera: Muscidae) in poultry farms in Penang, Malaysia. Trop Biomed 26:140–148Google Scholar
  6. Brooker S, Clarke S, Njagi JK, Polack S, Nugo B, Estambale B, Muchiri E, Magnussen P, Cox J (2004) Spatial clustering of malaria and associated risk factors during an epidemic in a highland area of western Kenya. Trop Med Int Health 9:757–766PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bunchu N, Sukontason KL, Olson JK, Kurahashi H, Sukontason K (2008) Behavioral responses of Chrysomya megacephala to natural products. Parasitol Res 102:419–429PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler JF, Garcia-Maruniak A, Meek F, Maruniak JE (2010) Wild Florida house flies (Musca domestica) as carriers of pathogenic bacteria. Florida Entomol 93:218–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Echeverria P, Harrison BA, Tirapat C, McFarland A (1983) Flies as a source of enteric pathogens in a rural village in Thailand. Appl Environ Microbiol 46:32–36PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisen L, Lozano-Fuentes S (2009) Use of mapping and spatial and space-time modeling approaches in operational control of Aedes aegypti and dengue. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3:e411PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feliciangeli MD (2004) Natural breeding places of phlebotomine sandflies. Med Vet Entomol 18:71–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gilles J, David JF, Duvallet G, Tillard E (2008) Potential impacts of climate change on stable flies, investigated along an altitudinal gradient. Med Vet Entomol 22:74–81PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goff ML, Flynn MM (1991) Determination of postmortem interval by arthropod succession: a case study from the Hawaiian Islands. J Forensic Sci 36:607–614PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Goff ML, Omori AI, Gunatilake K (1988) Estimation of postmortem interval by arthropod succession. Three case studies from the Hawaiian Islands. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 9:220–225PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greenberg B (1973) Flies and disease. Biological and disease transmission, vol II. Princeton University Press, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  16. Guernaoui S, Bounezzough A, Laamrani A (2006) Altitudinal structuring of sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the High-Atlas mountains (Morocco) and its relation to the risk of leishmaniasis transmission. Acta Trop 97:346–351PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gunatilake K, Goff ML (1989) Detection of organophosphate poisoning in a putrefying body by analyzing arthropod larvae. J Forensic Sci 34:714–716PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hackenberger BK, Jaric D, Krcmar S (2009) Distribution of tabanids (Diptera: Tabanidae) along a two-sides altitudinal transect. Environ Entomol 38:1600–1607PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hewitt CG (1907) The structure, development, and bionomics of the house fly, Musca domestica, Linn. Quart J Micr Sci 51:395–448Google Scholar
  20. Kassem HA, El-Sayed YA, Baz MM, Kenawy MA, El Sawaf BM (2009) Climatic factors influencing the abundance of Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli) (Diptera: Psychodidae) in the Nile Delta. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 39:305–316PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Lertthamnongtham S, Sukontason KL, Sukontason K, Piangjai S, Choochote W, Vogtsberger RC, Olson JK (2003) Seasonal fluctuations in populations of the two most forensically important fly species in northern Thailand. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 97:87–91PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lysyk TJ (1993) Seasonal abundance of stable flies and house flies (Diptera: Muscidae) in dairies in Alberta, Canada. J Med Entomol 30:888–895PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Nazni WA, Seleena B, Lee H, Jeffery J, Rogayah T, Sofian M (2005) Bacteria fauna from the house fly, Musca domestica (L.). Trop Biomed 22:225–231PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Noorman N, Den Otter CJ (2002) Effects of relative humidity, temperature, and population density on production of cuticular hydrocarbons in housefly Musca domestica L. J Chem Ecol 28:1819–1829PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nurita AT, Abu HA, Nur AH (2008) Species composition surveys of synanthropic fly populations in northern peninsular Malaysia. Trop Biomed 25:145–153PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Reigada C, Godoy WAC (2005) Seasonal fecundity and body size in Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Neotrop Entomol 34:163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rogers D, Williams B (1993) Monitoring trypanosomiasis in space and time. Parasitology 106(Suppl):S77–S92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rutto JJ, Karuga JW (2009) Temporal and spatial epidemiology of sleeping sickness and use of geographical information system (GIS) in Kenya. J Vector Borne Dis 46:18–25PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Semakula LM, Taylor RA, Pitts CW (1989) Flight behavior of Musca domestica and Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae) in a Kansas dairy barn. J Med Entomol 26:501–509PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Simsek FM, Alten B, Caglar SS, Ozbel Y, Aytekin AM, Kaynas S, Belen A, Kasap OE, Yaman M, Rastgeldi S (2007) Distribution and altitudinal structuring of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in southern Anatolia, Turkey: their relation to human cutaneous leishmaniasis. J Vector Ecol 32:269–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Spradbery JP (1979) The reproductive status of Chrysomya species (Diptera: Calliphoridae) attracted to liver-baited blow fly traps in Papua New Guinea. J Aust Entomol Soc 18:57–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Strong-Gunderson JM, Leopold RA (1989) Cryobiology of Musca domestica: supercooling capacity and low-temperature tolerance. Environ Entomol 18:756–762Google Scholar
  33. Sucharit S, Tumrasvin W, Vutikes S (1976) A survey on house flies in Bangkok and neighboring provinces. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 7:85–90Google Scholar
  34. Sukontason K, Narongchai P, Kanchai C, Vichairat K, Sribanditmongkol P, Bhoopat T, Kurahashi H, Chockjamsai M, Piangjai S, Bunchu N, Vongvivach S, Samai W, Chaiwong T, Methanitikorn R, Ngern-klun R, Sripakdee D, Boonsriwong W, Siriwattanarungsee S, Srimuangwong C, Hanterdsith B, Chaiwan K, Srisuwan C, Upakut S, Moopayak K, Vogtsberger RC, Olson JK, Sukontason KL (2007a) Forensic entomology cases in Thailand: a review of cases from 2000 to 2006. Parasitol Res 101:1417–1423PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sukontason KL, Bunchoo M, Khantawa B, Piangjai S, Rongsriyam Y, Sukontason K (2007b) Comparison between Musca domestica and Chrysomya megacephala as carriers of bacteria in northern Thailand. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 38:38–44PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Sukontason K, Piangjai S, Siriwattanarungsee S, Sukontason KL (2008) Morphology and developmental rate of blowflies Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies in Thailand: application in forensic entomology. Parasitol Res 102:1207–1216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sulaiman S, Sohadi AR, Yunus H, Iberahim R (1988) The role of some cyclorrhaphan flies as carriers of human helminths in Malaysia. Med Vet Entomol 2:1–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sung IH, Lin MY, Chang CH, Cheng AS, Chen WS (2006) Pollinators and their behaviors on mango flowers in southern Taiwan. Formosan Entomol 26:161–170Google Scholar
  39. Taye A, Alemayehu W, Melese M, Geyid A, Mekonnen Y, Tilahun D, Asfaw T (2007) Seasonal and altitudinal variations in fly density and their associated with the occurrence of trachoma, in the Gurage zone of central Ethiopia. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 101:441–448PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Taylor D, Berkebile D (2006) Comparative efficiency of six stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) traps. J Econ Entomol 99:1414–1419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tonnang HE, Kangalawe RY, Yanda PZ (2010) Predicting and mapping malaria under climatic change scenarios: the potential redistribution of malaria vectors in Africa. Malaria J 9:111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tumrasvin W, Shinonaga S (1977) Studies on medically important flies in Thailand. III. Report of species belonging to the genus Musca Linne, including the taxonomic key (Diptera: Muscidae). Bull Tokyo Med Dent Univ 24:209–218PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Tumrasvin W, Sucharit S, Kano R (1978) Studies on medically important flies in Thailand. IV. Altitudinal distribution of flies belonging to Muscidae and Calliphoridae in Doi Indhanondh Mountain, Chiengmai, in early summer season. Bull Tokyo Med Dent Univ 25:77–81PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Tumrasvin W, Kurahashi H, Kano R (1979) Studies on medically important flies in Thailand VII. Report on 42 species of calliphorid flies, including the taxonomic keys (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Bull Tokyo Med Dent Univ 26:243–272PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Upakut S, Sukontason KL, Bunchu N, Sukontason K (2007) Behavioral response of house fly, Musca domestica Linnaeus (Diptera: Muscidae), to olfactory stimuli with dual-choice wind tunnel. The Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting, 30 November, Bangkok, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  46. West L (1951) The housefly, its natural history, medical importance, and control. Corn-Stock, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  47. WHO (1986) Vector control series. The housefly. Training and information guide. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  48. William C (2004) Biology of disease vector. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  49. Winpisinger KA, Ferketich AK, Berry RL, Moeschberger ML (2005) Spread of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae), from two caged layer facilities to neighboring residences in rural Ohio. J Med Entomol 42:732–738PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zumpt F (1965) Myiasis in man and animals in the old world. Butterworths, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ratchadawan Ngoen-klan
    • 1
  • Kittikhun Moophayak
    • 1
  • Tunwadee Klong-klaew
    • 1
  • Kim N. Irvine
    • 2
  • Kabkaew L. Sukontason
    • 1
  • Chira Prangkio
    • 3
  • Pradya Somboon
    • 1
  • Kom Sukontason
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of MedicineChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  2. 2.Geography and Planning Department and Center for Southeast Asia Environment and Sustainable Development, Buffalo StateState University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Faculty of Social SciencesChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand

Personalised recommendations