The Effects of Black Objects and Carbon Dioxide on Horse and Deer Fly (Diptera: Tabanidae) Trap Success in Brazos County, Texas


  • Shelby Kerrin Kilpatrick Texas A&M University


This study analyzed the effectiveness of traps for horse and deer flies
(Diptera: Tabanidae) in Brazos County, Texas, U.S.A., using black objects and carbon dioxide (CO2). Tabanid flies vector several important livestock diseases and can be pests to humans. Heliothis cone traps were modified and placed at four approximate locations on one site, the Riley Estate in Brazos County, Texas. Four different trap styles were randomly tested at the locations on eight days between 24 March and 14 April 2015. Seventeen individual tabanids representing two species, Chrysops callidus Osten Sacken and Tabanus lineola F., were collected and the former species was the most abundant. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) calculation revealed that the combined black object and CO2 trap had a positive trend for being the most effective style for capturing tabanid flies out of those tested. Trap location was determined to be insignificant compared to the number of tabanid flies captured. While more data is required to determine if the difference between the trap styles is significant, the traps have the potential to be used to collect behavioral data, measure biodiversity and relative abundance of tabanid flies, as well as control their populations in areas where they cause irritation and spread disease.

Author Biography

Shelby Kerrin Kilpatrick, Texas A&M University

Howdy! My name is Shelby Kilpatrick and I am a Senior (Class of 2017, A-Whoop!) Entomology and Agricultural Leadership & Development double major from Copper Canyon, Texas. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in College Station. After completing my undergraduate degree in May 2017, I intend to pursue additional higher education. To date, I have applied to several Ph.D. programs in Entomology and closely-related fields to start in Fall 2017.


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