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Effect of livestock manures on the fitness of house fly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae)

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The house fly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae) is one of the major pests of confined and pastured livestock worldwide. Livestock manures play an important role in the development and spread of M. domestica. In the present study, we investigated the impact of different livestock manures on the fitness and relative growth rate of M. domestica and intrinsic rate of natural increase. We tested the hypotheses by studying life history parameters including developmental time from egg to adult's eclosion, fecundity, longevity, and survival on manures of buffalo, cow, nursing calf, dog, horse, poultry, sheep, and goat, which revealed significant differences that might be associated with fitness costs. The maggots reared on poultry manure developed faster compared to any other host manure. The total developmental time was the shortest on poultry manure and the longest on horse manure. The fecundity by females reared on poultry, nursing calf, and dog manures was greater than on any other host manures. Similarly, percent survival of immature stages, pupal weight, eggs viability, adults' eclosion, survival and longevity, intrinsic rate of natural increase, and biotic potential were significantly higher on poultry, nursing calf, and dog manures compared to any other livestock manures tested. However, the sex ratio of adult flies remained the same on all types of manures. The low survival on horse, buffalo, cow, sheep, and goat manures suggest unsuitability of these manures, while the higher pupal weight on poultry, nursing calf, and dog manures suggest that these may provide better food quality to M. domestica compared with any other host manures. Our results point to the role of livestock manures in increasing local M. domestica populations. Such results could help to design cultural management strategies which may include sanitation, moisture management, and manure removal.

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The work presented in the manuscript is part of a PhD research project of the first author (HAAK). Funds provided by the Higher Education Commission Pakistan to perform the study are highly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Hafiz Azhar Ali Khan or Sarfraz Ali Shad or Waseem Akram.

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Khan, H.A.A., Shad, S.A. & Akram, W. Effect of livestock manures on the fitness of house fly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae). Parasitol Res 111, 1165–1171 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-012-2947-1

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  • Relative Growth Rate
  • Intrinsic Rate
  • Natural Increase
  • Poultry Manure
  • Livestock Manure