Residues at sites where stationary feeders were used to provide hay as supplemental forage for cattle during the winter are developmental substrates for immature stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), in the central United States. Spatial patterns in physical (substrate depth, temperature, water content), chemical (pH, electrical conductivity [EClab], total nitrogen [N] and carbon [C], ammoniacal nitrogen [NH4-N], extractable phosphorus [P]), and biological (microbial respiration rate) substrate properties for two feeding sites were estimated and the correlations between these properties and adult emergence were characterized. Hay feeding sites had a circular footprint with residues extending ≈7m from the feeder. With the exception of extractable P and total N, all substrate properties exhibited spatial patterns centered on the feeder location. Adult stable fly emergence densities were significantly correlated with substrate microbial respiration rate, NH4-N concentration, EClab, total C concentration, pH, and moisture content. Logistic regression indicated that EC best predicted the probability of stable flies emerging from a substrate and that the other properties did not provide additional information. A better understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological conditions needed for stable fly larval development may help in identifying previously unrecognized developmental habitats and management of this pest. Targeted implementation of management practices such as sanitation and chemical treatments can be applied to smaller areas reducing labor and improving cost effectiveness.
- Stomoxys calcitrans,
- larval developmental sites,
- spatial variability
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