The waste artificial larval rearing media of New World screwworms, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) were evaluated to determine their effectiveness as oviposition attractants. Various concentrations of waste larval media resulting from rearing screwworm larvae in gel and cellulose fiber-based artificial diets tested over a 4-wk period attracted varying number of gravid screwworm flies to oviposit. Three-day-old waste medium with concentrations of 10 and 25% were most attractive to gravid female flies for oviposition and resulted in the most oviposition. One and 7-d-old wastes at all concentrations were less attractive for oviposition than the 3d-old media. The fresh (0-d-old), 14-d- and 28-d-old waste media were the least attractive substrates for oviposition. The waste from the cellulose fiber-based diet resulted in significantly more oviposition compared with waste from the gel-based diet. Microorganisms growing in the waste media probably produce metabolites that attract gravid screwworm flies to oviposit. Use of the waste products of appropriate age and dilution as oviposition substrates would enhance oviposition in mass production colony cages.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2