The selection of natural enemies for the biological control of the Australian bushfly.
Musca vetustissima Wlk., although native to Australia, currently breeds in the dung of exotic stock animals. Biological control could therefore be aimed either at removing the exotic breeding site or directly at the indigenous pest. As a supplement to the scheme to introduce African dung beetles in an attempt to remove the dung, the use of natural enemies to attack the fly is being investigated. The migratory habits of the fly and the fact that it dies out each winter in the areas of south-eastern Australia where nuisance to humans is most frequent pose special problems for a natural enemy. An attempt is being made to use a non-specific parasite which will overwinter in the diapausing puparia of an alternative Dipterous host also breeding in the dung. A nematode, a species of Heterotylenchus that effectively sterilised the fly, was found. The Braconid Aphaereta pallipes (Say) and a related parasite imported from New Zealand, both of which parasitise other dung-breeding flies, are being investigated.<new para>ADDITIONAL ABSTRACT:<new para>Heterotylenchus sp. is mentioned as a parasite of Musca vetustissima and a potential biological control agent.