Effect of two larval diets on the reproductive parameters of the housefly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera, Muscidae)
Deep understanding of the optimal reproductive and biological parameters is necessary to obtain the maximum egg production in captive rearing of Musca domestica, the common housefly. The effect of larval diet is explored in this study, using two different media: poultry manure and an artificial medium based on cereals mixed with meat. The preimaginal and development time, with other reproductive parameters that indirectly affect adult fecundity as: ovary and wing size, fluctuating asymmetry, and cuticular hydrocarbon composition, were analysed. The results show that poultry manure was related with better efficacy values, lower larval mortality rate, and a sex-dependent effect in fecundity. Asymmetry fluctuation and different hydrocarbon composition was detected in females. The females from larvae that grew on manure presented bigger ovaries and oocytes, but a smaller number of ovarioles per ovary. Their morphological asymmetry was also lower; and the cuticular hydrocarbon composition was distinct from the rest of the adults, with more alkanes and less alkenes than males or females related with the artificial diet. As conclusion, the effect of larval substrate on the survival and fecundity parameters is evident. The implications for the mass production of the house fly as animal feed are also indicated.