Dipteran attraction to a variety of baits: Implications for trapping studies as a tool for establishing seasonal presence of significant species

Michelle Harvey, Natalie Gasz, Zara Woolley, Lillian Roberts, Nynke Raven, Ariana Colbert, Kirby Law, Polly Marshall, Sasha Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Monitoring and collection of fly taxa (Diptera: Calliphoridae; Muscidae; Sarcophagidae) of medical, veterinary, and agricultural importance is often routine practice, providing data on target species presence, distribution and abundance. Collection practices currently involve baited trapping and while an inherent bias accompanying the choice of bait is acknowledged, there is little consistency in bait choice between studies and insufficient assessment of trapping success rates for bait types in current use. This study aimed to examine the effect of bait choice on trapping results for six commonly used bait types; a commercial bait (Envirosafe Fly Attractant, Envirosafe Products) and a combination of mixtures of liver, horse manure and 5% sodium sulfide (Na2S). Trapping success was compared under different seasonal conditions (Summer, Autumn, and Spring) to determine the most attractive bait for calliphorid species, with a secondary comparison of kangaroo versus ox liver occurring under summer conditions. Baits containing Na2S were the most successful in captures of all target taxa, with the addition of manure desirable, yielding increased diversity of taxa. Kangaroo liver baits attracted high numbers of Chrysomya spp. (Robineau-Desvoidy, Diptera: Calliphoridae), while Lucilia spp. (Robineau-Desvoidy, Diptera: Calliphoridae) were comparatively underrepresented in traps using liver alone. The use of a combined ox liver/manure/Na2S bait is recommended as the gold standard for generic screening of necrophagous flies. Where more specific target fly taxa are desired, such as Chrysomya spp. or Lucilia spp. only, alternate baits such as kangaroo or lamb may prove more attractive/successful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1289
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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