Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Plant Science

First Advisor

E. R. Easton


The face fly is a major pest of cattle in East Central South Dakota. The female fly feeds on the faces of cattle and lays eggs in freshly deposited manure. Preference is shown for the manure of animals fed grass. The egg and larval stages are spent in the manure, and the mature larvae migrate to the surrounding substrate to pupate. While in the pats, the face fly stages present have been shown to be sensitive to a number of physical, chemical and biotic factors. The manure pat acts as both a source of food and as a habitat for the face fly larva, and as a habitat for the egg. Changes in the manure can be expected to induce changes in the population_ of organisms living in the pat. The moisture and nitrogen content of cattle manure in tropical areas of the world have been shown to be more variable than the manure from beef cattle in East-Central South Dakota. These variations have also been shown to be important to other species of dung inhabiting flies in determining their pupal mass and pupal production. Current trends in pest management involve building predictive models of population growth. These models can be used to predict pest outbreaks and also to simulate the impact that control measures applied singly or in an integrated fashion can have on a pest population. To date, no single control method has been effective in controlling the face fly. In order to model populations, information pertaining to survival and reproductive patterns must be gathered, as well as information on the influences of environmental factors on these parameters. The purposes of this study were to determine if temporal changes in the moisture and ·nitrogen content of cattle manure occur and if they follow a predictable pattern over a season, and to examine the effect that these changes in manure quality might have on a laboratory strain of the face fly in terms of its stage specific mortality and body size.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cattle -- Manure
Face fly



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University