The in vitro response of field strains of sheep blowflies Lucilia sericata and L. cuprina (Calliphoridae) in New Zealand to dicyclanil and triflumuron

The in vitro response of field strains of sheep blowflies Lucilia sericata and L. cuprina (Calliphoridae) in New Zealand to dicyclanil and triflumuron
Peer reviewed


AIM: To evaluate the in vitro efficacy of triflumuron and dicyclanil against field strains of Lucilia sericata and L. cuprina in New Zealand to establish whether anecdotal reports of declining protection periods afforded by dips containing these active ingredients had validity.

METHODS: Strains of field-derived blowflies (Lucilia cuprina and L. sericata) were obtained from adult flies from flytraps or larvae from sheep with flystrike submitted from seven regions of the North and two regions of the South Islands of New Zealand. A total of 27 strains of L. sericata and 19 of L. cuprina were established in culture and first instar larvae obtained were exposed in vitro to dilution series of technical-grade dicyclanil (a pyrimidine carbonitrile) and triflumuron (a benzoyl urea). Concentrations lethal to 50% (LC50) and 95% (LC95) of each strain were calculated and tested by probit analysis, with the ratio of LC50 of each strain divided by LC50 of the most susceptible strain (resistance factor) derived in order to facilitate between-strain comparisons of susceptibility.

RESULTS: There was considerable variation between strains of L. sericata larvae in their susceptibility to triflumuron, with those least susceptible originating from the Waikato region. Strains from both Tararua and Manawatu regions were most susceptible and East Coast strains intermediate. All strains of the species tested showed a narrow band of susceptibility to dicyclanil with no regional trends apparent.

CONCLUSIONS: Representative field-strains of sheep blowflies exhibited a range of susceptibilities to both triflumuron and dicyclanil, suggestive of both genetic heterogeneity among fly populations and the spectrum of dip use in their source areas. This means there should be concerns for the long-term benefits of benzoyl urea insecticides for sheep farmers in New Zealand, but not yet for dicyclanil-based formulations.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Flystrike is a debilitating and occasionally lethal disease in sheep such that efficacious sheep dips have prophylactic value in reducing the prevalence of the condition.

KEY WORDS: Insecticide resistance, triflumuron, dicyclanil, sheep blowflies, New Zealand

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