We tested an immunomarking system that used egg white as marker and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as a detection assay to characterize face fly (Musca autumnalis DeGeer) dispersal from cow pats in a pastured beef cattle operation. In microcage assays, adult flies acquired marker after contact with cow pats that were treated with marker and field aged up to 11 d. In arena assays on sprayed full-size cow pats, 77% of eclosed face flies acquired the marker. In a field-marking study, four applications of egg white marker were applied on freshly deposited cow pats over a summer at two peripheral paddocks to a main grazing pasture of ≈50 head of beef cattle. Of the 663 face flies captured, 108 were positive for the egg white marker (16.3%). Of the marked flies, ≈ twofold more male than female flies were captured. Sex-specific dispersal distances were roughly equal up to 450 m, with 11% of female flies dispersing >450 m. Dispersal capability of face flies is discussed in relation to efficacy of rotational grazing and other IPM strategies.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1