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Publication - Professor Richard Wall

    Spatial and temporal habitat partitioning by calliphorid blowflies

    Citation

    Robledo, GA, Stevens, J & Wall, R, 2018, ‘Spatial and temporal habitat partitioning by calliphorid blowflies’. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

    Abstract

    Blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) perform an essential ecosystem service in the consumption, recycling and dispersion of carrion nutrients and are considered amongst the most important functional groups in an ecosystem. Some species are of economic importance as facultative agents of livestock myiasis. The interspecific ecological differences that facilitate coexistence within the blowfly community are not fully understood. The aim of this work, was to quantify differences in habitat use by calliphorid species. Thirty traps were distributed between 3 habitats in 2 sites in south west England, collections were made from March to August of 2016. A total of 17,246 specimens were caught, of which 2,427 were L. sericata, 51 L. richardsi, 6,580 L. caesar, 307 L. ampullacea, 4,881 C. vicina and 2,959 C. vomitoria. L. sericata, was the dominant species in open habitats, whereas L. caesar, was the most abundant species in shaded habitats. Calliphora specimens were more abundant in the cooler months. It is suggested that Calliphora and Lucilia show strong temporal segregation mediated by temperature whereas habitat use differences within species of the genus Lucilia are likely to be driven by differences in humidity tolerance and light intensity, resulting in effective niche partitioning.

    Full details in the University publications repository