Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), are among the most economically important arthropod pests of livestock in North America. In this study, we monitored the seasonal dynamics of a stable fly population in eastern Nebraska for 5 yr. Models based upon temperature and precipitation were developed to determine the affects of these variables on population levels as well as to project population trends. Stable flies appear in eastern Nebraska in late March to early April, and they build to a peak population during the last week of June and first week of July. In most years, the population decreases in midsummer, and then it increases to a second peak in mid-September. Temperature 0 to 2 wk before collection and precipitation 3 to 6 wk before collection were the most important weather variables accounting for 63 and 11% of the variation, respectively. Temperature 7 wk before collection was also significant, accounting for 3% of the variation. Reduced precipitation levels explained the observed midsummer drop in the stable fly populations. Changes in stable fly population levels were positively correlated with precipitation 1 to 2 wk prior and temperature the week of the change. Population change was negatively correlated with precipitation 6–8 wk prior and temperature 6–15 wk prior. The addition of the previous weeks trap collections to the climate based model eliminated the significance of temperature 2 and 7 wk before collection. Temperature 0–1 wk before collection accounted for 60% of the variation, precipitation 3 to 6 wk prior 12% of the variation, and the previous weeks’ trap collections accounted for 11% of the variation. Low temperatures during October through January were correlated with higher stable fly populations the following June and July.
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Vol. 44 • No. 5