Feeding behaviour of the potential predators of the house flies, Musca domestica L. and Fannia canicularis (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae)
Laboratory experiments on the feeding preferences of the potential predators of Musca domestica L. and Fannia canicularis (L.) indicated that Philonthus sordidus (Gravenhorst) consumed all immature stages of M. domestica while Carcinops pumilio (Erichson), Carcinops troglodytes (Paykull), Oxytelus sculptus (Gravenhorst), Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) and Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Scopoli) fed on the eggs and first instar larvae of M. domestica. The predators could be important in the natural control of house flies. Predation rates at a range of predator densities varied considerably within and between species. Predation rates of C. pumilio decreased with an increase in predator density. Adult C. pumilio starved for nine days consumed significantly more M. domestica immatures than those fed for nine days. Starvation and feeding treatments had no effect on the predation rate of M. muscaedomesticae. The high numbers of eggs and young larvae consumed by C.pumilio and M. muscaedomesticae indicate that these two species have considerable potential for the biological control through augmentative releases against house flies breeding in poultry manure.