Effect of temperature on egg production in the common housefly

Ljubinka Francuski*, Walter Jansen, Leo W. Beukeboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae), better known as the common housefly, is increasingly considered to be a new, alternative protein source for animal nutrition. By transferring low-value organic side streams into high-value protein products, its commercial production contributes to a circular economy. Next to technical innovations for scaling-up the production capacity, efficient egg production has been identified as one of the bottlenecks of housefly production systems. We investigated egg production in two strains, one originally from Spain (SPA) and one from The Netherlands (GK), at 25 and 32 °C. At 25 °C, duration of preoviposition period, laying phase, and adult longevity was longer than at 32 °C. Lifetime egg production was lower at 32 °C, but the number of clutches laid per female was unaffected by temperature. Daily egg production at 32 °C was higher during the first 7 days, revealing a trade-off between higher early-in-life reproductive effort and adult longevity. The combination of shorter sexual maturation period and higher daily egg-laying rate resulted in reaching 50% of total egg production only 6 days after emergence at 32 °C for both strains, compared to 13 and 14 days at 25 °C for SPA and GK, respectively. We conclude that, in the absence of a need for high adult survival rates, houseflies have favourable production performances at higher temperature, and that efficacy and yield of the production process could be maximized by increasing the rearing temperature to 32 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-522
Number of pages10
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number6-7
Early online date13-May-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2020


  • egg-laying rate
  • oviposition period
  • temperature-dependent fecundity
  • rearing condition
  • Musca domestica
  • Diptera
  • Muscidae
  • FLY
  • SIZE
  • MEAL

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