a1 External Studies Unit, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150
a2 CSIRO Division of Entomology, Private Bag, P.O. Wembley, Western Australia, 6014
a3 School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150
a4 Mt Barker Senior High School, Mt Barker, Western Australia, 6324
Six hundred and twelve anthropods from 11 families collected in and around cattle dung in south-western Australia were screened using a general antiserum against all developmental stages of Musca vetustissima Walker with gel precipitin and immunoelectroosmophoresis (IEO) tests. Positive results were found in Staphylinidae (65%), Histeridae (64%), Carabidae (12%), Dermaptera (21%) and Lycosidae (27%). The relative proportions of predator species varied in different sites, but three staphylinids (Leptacinus socius (Fauvel), Philonthus longicornis Stephens and P. subcingulatus MacLeay) and one histerid (Saprinus sp.) were widespread and numerous and consistently had a high proportion of positive results. Compared to precipitin tests, IEO was found to extend detection times for a single meal from two to five hours for small staphylinids and from 24 to 36 hours for larger carabids. In subsamples of P. subcingulatus and Saprinus sp. collected on the same day at one site, the relative proportions of positive results using IEO and gel precipitation, respectively, were 74 and 23% for P. subcingulatus and 95 and 53% for Saprinus sp.
(Received July 23 1985)
p1 Present address: Agriculture Protection Board of Western Australia, Bougainvillea Avenue, Forrestfield, Western Australia 6058.