Seven mark-recapture studies were conducted over 3 yr to assess dispersal of newly emerging adult stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans L., from larval development sites in a mixed agricultural environment in northeastern Nebraska. Infested hay debris piles were marked by dusting their surfaces with fluorescent pigments, adults were captured with surrounding grids of Alsynite sticky traps, and specimens were dissected to determine feeding histories and reproductive age, Distances and directions of 3,889 marked specimens indicated males and females dispersed equally and in all directions. Midguts of males and females were equally likely to contain blood-meal remnants. Percentage with blood remnants and percentage of females with yolk increased with distance from mark origin, indicating survival and spread were positively associated with host finding success. A time-integrated diffusion model fit to results from the seven studies indicated 50% of stable fly adults had dispersed beyond 1.6 km of their natal site, but only 5% had dispersed beyond 5.1 km. These results indicate that stable fly adults on cattle in a given area are most likely to have originated from larval development sites within an ∼5 km radius of the subject cattle.
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