Development of Spalangia cameroni and Muscidifurax raptor (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) on live house fly (Diptera: Muscidae) pupae and pupae killed by heat shock, irradiation, and cold. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of killed house fly (Musca domestica L) pupae for production of two economically important pupal parasitoids. Two-day-old fly pupae were subjected to heat shock treatments of varying temperatures and durations in an oven at >or=70% RH; exposure to temperatures of 55 degrees C or higher for 15 min or longer resulted in 100% mortality. Exposure to 50 degrees C resulted in 40 and 91% mortality at 15 and 60 min, respectively. All (100%) pupae placed in a -80 degrees C freezer were killed after 10-min exposure; exposure times of <5 min resulted in <21% mortality. Progeny production of Spalangia cameroni Perkins and Muscidifurax raptor Girault and Sanders (Hymeoptera: Pteromalidae) from pupae killed by heat shock or 50 kR of gamma radiation was not significantly different from production on live hosts on the day when pupae were killed. Freeze-killed pupae produced 16% fewer S. cameroni than live pupae and an equivalent amount of M. raptor progeny on the day when pupae were killed. When killed pupae were stored in freezer bags at 4 degrees C for 4 mo, heat-killed, irradiated, and freeze-killed pupae remained as effective for production of M. raptor as live pupae. Production of S. cameroni on heat-killed and irradiated pupae was equal to parasitoid production on live pupae for up to 2 mo of storage, after which production on killed pupae declined to 63% of that observed with live pupae. Production of S. cameroni on freeze-killed pupae was 73-78% of production using live pupae during weeks 2-8 of storage and declined to 41 and 28% after 3 and 4 mo, respectively. Killing pupae by heat shock provides a simple and low-cost method for stockpiling high-quality hosts for mass-rearing both of these filth fly biological control agents.

published proceedings

  • Environ Entomol

author list (cited authors)

  • Geden, C. J., & Kaufman, P. E.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Geden, CJ||Kaufman, PE

publication date

  • February 2007