Adult Fannia conspicua Malloch were captured by sweep net at a southern California coastal mountain community to determine diel flight activity and crop/gut sugar (gut sugar) concentration. Male swarming activity was monitored by visual estimation of swarm numbers. Gut sugar content of captured flies was determined by cold anthrone assay. Peak host seeking by female flies generally occurred in early morning (0700–0800) and early evening (1900–2000). Variation in female host-seeking activity was significantly explained by the time elapsed since sunrise or time remaining until sunset, with temperature, humidity, and wind speed having small, but significant effects on activity. Male swarming activity occurred more generally throughout the day, with peaks in midmorning and mid-afternoon and reduced swarming during periods of highest female host-seeking activity. Male swarming behaviors were only minimally explained by environmental variables. Flies of both sexes commonly fed on fructose sugars with 99.94% of host-seeking female flies (n = 1,647), and 98.93% of swarming male flies (n = 1,398) with gut sugar levels exceeding those of starved flies. Host-seeking female flies had significantly higher overall sugar content than swarming male flies. Male flies had peak gut sugar levels at 0800–0900 and 2000. Female flies had broad peaks in gut sugar level from 0700 to 1200 and 1600 to 1900. Stepwise regression showed that variation in gut sugar level was poorly explained by environmental variables for both sexes.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2