Individual and Combined Releases of Muscidifurax raptor and M. raptorellus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) as a Biological Control Tactic Targeting House Flies in Dairy Calf Facilities Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The impact of commercially reared house fly parasitoids released into nine dairy calf coverall facilities were evaluated over 3 yr. Individual and equally mixed ratios of the pteromalid parasitoids Muscidifurax raptor Girault and Saunders and M. raptorellus Kogan and Legner were released at a rate of 500 parasitoids per calf per week for 8 wk. Prerelease, release, and postrelease parasitism was monitored using nearly 100,000 sentinel house fly, Musca domestica L., pupae during the 3 yr study. In general, very few adult parasitoids were recovered during the prerelease period and on the no-release farms during any period. However, considerable numbers of M. raptor and M. raptorellus were recovered from sentinel pupae on respective release farms. As expected, the greatest successful parasitism occurred during release periods, with a drop during postrelease periods. High successful parasitism and uneclosed pupae on M. raptorellus release farms suggests that this parasitoid was aggressive in attacking hosts with progeny production at approximately four wasps per pupa. Solitary releases of M. raptor provided sentinel mortality between 31 and 38%, whereas sentinel mortality on M. raptorellus-release farms was double, at 59-80%. Using mixed releases of the two species, overall fly mortality was slightly lower than that observed on M. raptorellus-only farms. This study documents the advantage of releasing M. raptorellus rather than M. raptor on New York dairy calf facilities, as supported by higher parasitism rates and lower costs (35-75%) for purchase of these gregarious wasps, as 75-80% fewer parasitized pupae are needed to achieve similar adult parasitoid levels.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kaufman, P. E., Strong, C., Waldron, J. K., & Rutz, D. A.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • September 2012