Bacteria mediate oviposition by the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.), (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Academic Article uri icon


  • There can be substantial negative consequences for insects colonizing a resource in the presence of competitors. We hypothesized that bacteria, associated with an oviposition resource and the insect eggs deposited on that resource, serve as a mechanism regulating subsequent insect attraction, colonization, and potentially succession of insect species. We isolated and identified bacterial species associated with insects associated with vertebrate carrion and used these bacteria to measure their influence on the oviposition preference of adult black soldier flies which utilizes animal carcasses and is an important species in waste management and forensics. We also ascertained that utilizing a mixture of bacteria, rather than a single species, differentially influenced behavioral responses of the flies, as did bacterial concentration and the species of fly from which the bacteria originated. These studies provide insight into interkingdom interactions commonly occurring during decomposition, but not commonly studied.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Zheng, L., Crippen, T. L., Holmes, L., Singh, B., Pimsler, M. L., Benbow, M. E., ... Tomberlin, J. K.

citation count

  • 77

complete list of authors

  • Zheng, Longyu||Crippen, Tawni L||Holmes, Leslie||Singh, Baneshwar||Pimsler, Meaghan L||Benbow, M Eric||Tarone, Aaron M||Dowd, Scot||Yu, Ziniu||Vanlaerhoven, Sherah L||Wood, Thomas K||Tomberlin, Jeffery K

publication date

  • September 2013