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5 October 2018 Effect of Temperature on Oviposition Behavior and Egg Load of Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)
Krystal Rae Hans, R. LeBouthillier, S. L. VanLaerhoven
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Making optimal oviposition decisions is especially important for female carrion colonizing insects whose larvae often depend on ephemeral resources. Optimal oviposition theory predicts that females should exhibit behaviors that will maximize the performance of their offspring. Oviposition can be influenced by a variety of factors, including temperature. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of temperature on the oviposition behavior and egg load of two blow fly species native to southern Ontario: Phormia regina Meigen, and Lucilia sericata Meigen (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Using fetal pig carcasses as an oviposition substrate, we assessed the length of time until the first oviposition event, preferred oviposition sites, and the total number of eggs oviposited. For each of the two species, five different temperature treatments ranging from 15 to 35°C were used. Temperature influenced time to the first oviposition event, as well as the number of eggs deposited by L. sericata and P. regina. As temperature increased, oviposition occurred faster with more eggs deposited for these two species. Female P. regina, in particular, demonstrated a higher egg load with increasing temperature. Differences in optimal temperatures for reproduction, including egg load and oviposition, may be a mechanism driving seasonal temporal resource partitioning leading to species coexistence utilizing ephemeral resources.

©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Krystal Rae Hans, R. LeBouthillier, and S. L. VanLaerhoven "Effect of Temperature on Oviposition Behavior and Egg Load of Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 56(2), 441-447, (5 October 2018).
Received: 25 May 2018; Accepted: 10 September 2018; Published: 5 October 2018

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