Temperature and Population Density Effects on Locomotor Activity of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae)

T. M. Schou, S. Faurby, A. Kjærsgaard, C. Pertoldi, V. Loeschcke, Birthe Hald, Simon Bahrndorff

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The behavior of ectotherm organisms is affected by both abiotic and biotic factors. However, a limited number of studies have investigated the synergistic effects on behavioral traits. This study examined the effect of temperature and density on locomotor activity of Musca domestica (L.). Locomotor activity was measured for both sexes and at four densities (with mixed sexes) during a full light and dark (L:D) cycle at temperatures ranging from 10 to 40°C. Locomotor activity during daytime increased with temperature at all densities until reaching 30°C and then decreased. High-density treatments significantly reduced the locomotor activity per fly, except at 15°C. For both sexes, daytime activity also increased with temperature until reaching 30 and 35°C for males and females, respectively, and thereafter decreased. Furthermore, males showed a significantly higher and more predictable locomotor activity than females. During nighttime, locomotor activity was considerably lower for all treatments. Altogether the results of the current study show that there is a significant interaction of temperature and density on daytime locomotor activity of M. domestica and that houseflies are likely to show significant changes in locomotor activity with change in temperature
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1322-1328
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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