Livestock News

A Predator of Fly Larvae in Cattle Feedlots

Dr. Gerald Greene often noticed the hairy rove beetle, Creophilus maxillosus, during sampling of stable fly and house fly populations in Kansas cattle feedlots. They appeared to be eating fly maggots or pupae, but no one really knew what they were feeding on. He undertook several laboratory studies to determine the potential for rearing the beetle for use in inundative releases for fly control.

The beetles didn't have a real preference for any of the rearing substrates tested, but moist sand was the best material (compared with soil, wood chips, vermiculite, etc.) for beetle survival and ease of handling. It was also easy to remove beetle eggs from the sand by sifting through screens.

Adults produced more eggs and lived longer when fed blow fly larvae than when fed house fly larvae. Well-fed females can produce about 8 eggs per day, and 500 over their lifetime. Although survival from egg to adult is only about 30%, an estimated 421,865 females could be produced in 3 generations.

This predator has the potential to be a valuable fly control organism, particularly if these rearing methods can be refined to allow commercial production.


Return to Commodity Menu Vol. III  No. 12
Return to Contents Menu Vol. III  No. 12
Go To Index