Translator Disclaimer
1 December 2007 Pestiferous nature, resting sites, aggregation, and host-seeking behavior of the eye fly Siphunculina funicola (Diptera: Chloropidae) in Thailand
Author Affiliations +

Species of eye flies and eye gnats (Diptera: Chloropidae) are severe and persistent pests of man, domestic and wild animals, and potential vectors of pathogens. The species prevailing in the Oriental region belong to the genus Siphunculina, while those in the Neotropic and Nearctic regions belong to Liohippelates and Hippelates. These are small insects of 1-2 mm that feed on wounds, lacerations, scratches, and mucous membranes of man and higher animals. One species, Siphunculina funicola, commonly known as the Oriental eye fly, is considered the most anthropophilic in the genus, with potential involvement in the spread and mechanical transmission of infectious agents to humans and animals. Very little is known about the biology, prevalence, host-seeking, and aggregation behavior of this species in South and Southeast Asia. We initiated studies on biological aspects of this potential vector and human pest in central Thailand. The most significant findings of our study were the aggregation behaviors of S. funicola, that both sexes attack hosts, and that males outnumbered females attacking humans, dogs, and other domestic animals. They feed on wounds, scabs, lacerations, eyes, and mucous membranes. They hover around and feed on hosts during the daylight hours when host-seeking activities are more pronounced at temperatures above 25–27° C under calm conditions. We noted that large masses of males and females aggregated on a variety of hanging objects such as strings, trailings, electrical lines, decorations, ropes, twines, abandoned cob webs, clothes hangers, and other hanging substrates in open shade of structures and dwellings. This behavior of eye flies brings them closer to human and animal hosts. In these aggregations, both males and females were present, with mating pairs frequently noted. In the aggregations, about 37% of the females had fully developed eggs in the rainy season, but only <1–3.6% were gravid in the hot and dry season. The average number of eggs per female was generally 42 to 44.

Mir S. Mulla and Uruyakorn Chansang "Pestiferous nature, resting sites, aggregation, and host-seeking behavior of the eye fly Siphunculina funicola (Diptera: Chloropidae) in Thailand," Journal of Vector Ecology 32(2), 292-301, (1 December 2007).[292:PNRSAA]2.0.CO;2
Received: 20 March 2007; Accepted: 31 July 2007; Published: 1 December 2007