Bovine blood inoculated with bacteria isolated from screwworm [Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) ]-infested animal wounds was tested as an attractant for oviposition for gravid screwworms. Eight species of gram-negative coliform (Enterobacteriaceae) bacteria mixed with bovine blood singly or all species combined and incubated for various times produced volatiles that attracted gravid flies in a cage bioassay in varying numbers. In 15-min duration tests, volatiles from five species of bacteria (Klebsiella oxytoca, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Providencia rettgeri, and Providencia stuartii) attracted more females than volatiles of the three species (Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter sakazakii, and Serratia liquefaciens). In 1-h duration oviposition tests, volatiles from the substrate using the same five species of bacteria attracted more females to oviposit than the other three species. Volatiles from 24-h incubation period elicited least attraction and oviposition whereas volatiles from the 48- and 72-h incubation period resulted in significantly more attraction and oviposition. Attraction and oviposition decreased significantly when the substrates were incubated for 96 h. Volatiles from substrate with all species of bacteria combined attracted a significantly higher percentage of flies to land and oviposit than those from substrates prepared with single species. It is possible that multiple active chemicals present in volatiles of the all-species substrate may act as synergists resulting in greater response than those observed with volatiles from single-species substrate. Before oviposition flies took a bloodmeal from the oviposition substrate. It is possible that the oviposition is moderated by two different factors in screwworm—first, by using a chemical cue to land on a potential oviposition site and second, by using a bloodmeal to stimulate oviposition.
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