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Age determination in the adult screwworm (Diptera: Calliphoridae) by pteridine levels

, : Age determination in the adult screwworm (Diptera: Calliphoridae) by pteridine levels. Journal of Economic Entomology 82(4): 1140-1144

Fluorescence spectrophotometry was used to assess the possible use of pteridines in the compound eyes to estimate the age of adult screwworms, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel). Factors affecting the quantities of pteridines include temperature and head size. No difference in pteridine levels was found among flies fed protein or carbohydrate. A regression model for estimating the age of female screwworms was constructed. The model uses head capsule size and relative pteridine quantities and assumes a constant body temperature of 30 degrees C. This regression formula has an r2 of 0.74. Our study extends the use of pteridine accumulation for age determination from obligate sanguinivorous Diptera to an autogenous species that feeds facultatively on nectar and wound exudates. The technique appears to provide a valid means to determine age of these flies.

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Accession: 001748223

PMID: 2768643

DOI: 10.1093/jee/82.4.1140

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