a1 CSIRO Division of Entomology, PO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
Field populations of Musca vetustissima Walker were sampled in a region of New South Wales at 2-h intervals on 35 occasions between spring 1984 and autumn 1985 using wind-oriented fly traps. Ambient temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind speed explained 84·3% of the within-day deviance of total catches (both sexes combined). Temperature and solar radiation jointly explained 82·6% of this deviance (71·1 and 11·5%, respectively), indicating that the other variables, although significant, did not greatly affect trap catches. As air temperature increased, log catch rates increased non-linearly up to a maximum at 27·5°C and declined thereafter. Log catch rates increased linearly as solar radiation increased and declined linearly as relative humidity and wind speed increased. Changes in log catch rates with time of day were explained almost entirely by the four weather variables, i.e. when weather effects were removed, time of day effects were no longer significant. These weather variables also accounted for 79·9% of the between-day variation in logarithms of trap catches. Relative responses of males and females to traps differed significantly with respect to relative humidity, wind speed and time of day. Male catches tended to increase relative to female catches between 1200 h and 1800 h and also declined more slowly with increases in relative humidity and wind speed. Separate models are presented for standardization of male and female catch rates; the estimates differ from those obtained from observed sex ratios and total catch rates, but the differences are small compared to the observed day-to-day variation in catch rates.
(Received October 15 1985)