Bacteria mediate oviposition by the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.), (Diptera: Stratiomyidae)

Longyu Zheng, Tawni L. Crippen, Leslie Holmes, Baneshwar Singh, Meaghan L. Pimsler, M. Eric Benbow, Aaron M. Tarone, Scot Dowd, Ziniu Yu, Sherah L. Vanlaerhoven, Thomas K. Wood, Jeffery K. Tomberlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


There can be substantial negative consequences for insects colonizing a resource in the presence of competitors. We hypothesized that bacteria, associated with an oviposition resource and the insect eggs deposited on that resource, serve as a mechanism regulating subsequent insect attraction, colonization, and potentially succession of insect species. We isolated and identified bacterial species associated with insects associated with vertebrate carrion and used these bacteria to measure their influence on the oviposition preference of adult black soldier flies which utilizes animal carcasses and is an important species in waste management and forensics. We also ascertained that utilizing a mixture of bacteria, rather than a single species, differentially influenced behavioral responses of the flies, as did bacterial concentration and the species of fly from which the bacteria originated. These studies provide insight into interkingdom interactions commonly occurring during decomposition, but not commonly studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2563
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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