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Concept: Fly


Abstract. The occurrence of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in areas modified by humans indicates that phlebotomine sand fly vectors breed close to human habitations. Potential peridomiciliary breeding sites of phlebotomines were sampled in an area of transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis in Southeastern Brazil. Three concentric circles rounding houses and domestic animal shelters, with radii of 20, 40, and 60 m, defined the area to be monitored using adult emergence traps. Of the 67 phlebotomines collected, Lutzomyia intermedia comprised 71.6%; Lutzomyia schreiberi, 20.9%; and Lutzomyia migonei, 4.5%. The predominance of L. intermedia, the main species suspected of transmitting L. (V.) braziliensis in Southeastern Brazil, indicates its participation in the domiciliary transmission of ACL, providing evidence that the domiciliary ACL transmission cycle might be maintained by phlebotomines that breed close to human habitations. This finding might also help in planning measures that would make the peridomiciliary environment less favorable for phlebotomine breeding sites.

Concepts: Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Leishmania, Flies, Fly, Phlebotominae, Phlebotomus, Lutzomyia


Several mosquito species are vectors of disease; however, to understand their role in disease transmission, accurate species identification is of particular importance. Morphological-based identification remains the main method, but molecular techniques have emerged as a tool for identification of closely related species. In this study, mosquitoes of the West Azerbaijan Province in Northwestern Iran were characterized based on their rDNA-ITS2 sequences. Nine populations of Six species of mosquitoes belonging to Anopheles, Culex, Culiseta and Ochlerotatus genera were studied. For the first time, the ITS2 sequences of Culiseta longiareolata and Culex hortensis are reported. In addition, ITS2 of Culex theileri and Ochlerotatus caspius are for the first time reported from Iran. phylogenetic analysis based on ITS2 fragment showed that both Subfamilies (Anophelinae and Culicinae) of this family (Culicidae) could be differentiated successfully, and also in Genus Anopheles, both the studied Subgenera (Anopheles and Cellia) were separated. About the divergence of differently studied Genera (Culex., Culiseta and Ochlerotatus), the analysis showed that Genera Culiseta, Ochlerotatus and Culex. have been diverged separately.

Concepts: Biology, Species, Anopheles, Mosquito, Order, Culicidae, Fly, Culiseta longiareolata


Females of several species of dipteran parasitoids use long-range hearing to locate hosts for their offspring by eavesdropping on the acoustic mating calls of other insects. Males of these acoustic eavesdropping parasitoids also have physiologically functional ears, but so far, no adaptive function for male hearing has been discovered. I investigated the function of male hearing for the sarcophagid fly Emblemasoma erro Aldrich, an acoustic parasitoid of cicadas, by testing the hypothesis that both male and female E. erro use hearing to locate potential mates. I found that both male and nongravid female E. erro perform phonotaxis to the sounds of calling cicadas, that male flies engage in short-range, mate-finding behavior once they arrive at a sound source, and that encounters between females and males at a sound source can lead to copulation. Thus, cicada calling songs appear to serve as a mate-finding cue for both sexes of E. erro Emblemasoma erro’s mate-finding behavior is compared to that of other sarcophagid flies, other acoustic parasitoids, and nonacoustic eavesdropping parasitoids.

Concepts: Male, Reproduction, Female, Insect, Gender, Sex, Gamete, Fly


Captive rearing of insect pests is necessary to understand their biology and to develop control methods. The avian nest fly, Philornis downsi Dodge and Aitken, is a blood-sucking parasite during its larval stage and a serious threat to endemic birds in the Galapagos Islands where it is considered invasive. In order to procure large numbers of flies for biological studies, rearing media and diets were trialed for rearing the larval stage of P. downsi under controlled conditions in the absence of its avian host. P. downsi eggs were obtained from field-caught female flies, and once eggs hatched they were reared on chicken blood for the first 3 d. Following this, three diets were tested on second- and third-instar larvae: 1) chicken blood only; 2) chicken blood, hydrolyzed protein and dried milk powder; and 3) chicken blood, hydrolyzed protein and brewer’s yeast. Out of 385 P. downsi larvae tested, we were able to rear 50 larvae to the adult stage. The highest level of mortality was found in the first-instar larvae. Survivorship of second- and third-instar larvae was similar irrespective of diet and diet did not significantly influence larval or pupal development times; though larvae fed the diet with brewer’s yeast developed marginally faster. Pupal weights were similar to those of larvae that had developed on bird hosts in the field. To our knowledge, this is the first effective protocol for rearing a hematophagous parasitic avian fly from egg to adult in the absence of a living host.

Concepts: Protein, Insect, Larva, Mosquito, Milk, Bird, Fly, Powdered milk


Flies have some of the most elaborate visual systems in the Insecta, often featuring large, sexually dimorphic eyes with specialized “bright zones” that may have a functional role during mate-seeking behavior. The fast visual system of flies is considered to be an adaptation in support of their advanced flight abilities. Here, we show that the immense processing speed of the flies' photoreceptors plays a crucial role in mate recognition.

Concepts: Insect, Sexual dimorphism, Photoreceptor cell, Visual perception, Visual system, Rod cell, Fly, Photosensitive ganglion cell


A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided.

Concepts: Insect, Plant, Larva, Mosquito, Carnivorous plant, Fly, Drosera, Droseraceae


Dipterous fly larvae (maggots) are frequently collected from a corpse during a criminal investigation. Previous studies showed that DNA analysis of the gastrointestinal contents of maggots might be used to reveal the identity of a victim. However, this approach has not been used to date in legal investigations, and thus its practical usefulness is unknown. A badly burned body was discovered with its face and neck colonized by fly larvae. Given the condition of the body, identification was not possible. Short tandem repeat (STR) typing was performed using the gastrointestinal contents of maggots collected from the victim and was compared to STR profiles obtained from the alleged father. The probability of paternity was 99.685%. Thus, this comparative DNA test enabled the conclusive identification of the remains. This is the first reported case of analysis of human DNA isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of maggots used to identify a victim in a criminal case.

Concepts: DNA, Full genome sequencing, Identification, Short tandem repeat, Fly, DNA profiling, National DNA database, Combined DNA Index System


Social, ecological, and climatic factors interact creating a heterogeneous matrix that determines the spatiotemporal distribution of mosquitoes and human risks of exposure to the diseases they transmit. We explore linkages between the social and institutional processes behind residential abandonment, urban ecology, and the interactions of socio-ecological processes with abiotic drivers of mosquito production. Specifically, we test the relative roles of infrastructure degradation and vegetation for explaining the presence of Aedes albopictus Skuse 1894 to better predict spatial heterogeneity in mosquito exposure risk within urban environments. We further examine how precipitation interacts with these socially underpinned biophysical variables. We use a hierarchical statistical modeling approach to assess how environmental and climatic conditions over 3 years influence mosquito ecology across a socioeconomic gradient in Baltimore, MD. We show that decaying infrastructure and vegetation are important determinants of Ae. albopictus infestation. We demonstrate that both precipitation and vegetation influence mosquito production in ways that are mediated by the level of infrastructural decay on a given block. Mosquitoes were more common on blocks with greater abandonment, but when precipitation was low, mosquitoes were more likely to be found in higher-income neighborhoods with managed container habitat. Likewise, although increased vegetation was a negative predictor of mosquito infestation, more vegetation on blocks with high abandonment was associated with the largest mosquito populations. These findings indicate that fine spatial scale modeling of mosquito habitat within urban areas is needed to more accurately target vector control.

Concepts: Mosquito, Yellow fever, Aedes, Culicidae, Mosquito control, Fly, Asian tiger mosquito


The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae), is one of the most significant biting flies that affect cattle. The use of traditional insecticides for stable fly control has only a limited success owing to the insect’s unique feeding behaviours and immature development sites. A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the effects of two insect growth regulator (IGR) products, pyriproxyfen and buprofezin, on the development of the immature stages of the stable fly and the effects of pyriproxyfen on oviposition and egg hatch. Both pyriproxyfen and buprofezin had significant inhibitory effects on immature development. The LC(50) s of pyriproxyfen and buprofezin were 0.002 and 18.92 p.p.m., respectively. Topical treatment of adult females with different doses of pyriproxyfen had significant negative effects on both female oviposition and egg hatching when 1- and 3-day-old females were treated, and the effects were dose dependent. A significant reduction in the mean number of eggs laid was observed only at the highest pyriproxyfen dose (8 µg/fly) and egg hatch was unaffected by pyriproxyfen treatment when 5-day-old females were treated. Results from the present study indicate that pyriproxyfen has the potential to be used as part of an integrated stable fly management programme.

Concepts: Male, Insect, Arithmetic mean, Flies, Fly, Stable fly, Muscidae, Stomoxys


A 57-year-old woman with a history of atypical intracranial meningioma had undergone multiple craniotomies and endoscopic skull base procedures over several years. She presented most recently with nasal discharge consisting of intranasal larvae. Isolated organisms from the nasal cavity and maxillary sinus were identified as blow fly larvae (Calliphoridae family). The patient was treated with transnasal debridement and antibiotic therapy. The organisms were successfully eradicated and she is free from further signs of infection. Intranasal myiasis is an unusual complication of anterior skull base surgery.

Concepts: Bacteria, Skull, Maxillary sinus, Nasal cavity, Fly, Calliphoridae, Maxillary nerve, Myiasis