Does a repellent effect contribute to reduced levels of insect activity in dung from cattle treated with ivermectin?

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1998
Authors:K. D. Floate
Journal:Bulletin of Entomological Research

A two-year pitfall trapping study was performed to test the preference of coprophilous beetles (Hydrophilidae, Scarabaeidae, Staphylinidae) for dung from untreated cattle versus dung from cattle treated topically one or four weeks previously with a recommended dose of ivermectin in a pour-on formulation. In 1994, significantly more Aphodius fimetarius (Linnaeus) and A. distinctus (O.F. Mu ̈ ller) at each of two sites were collected with dung from treated cattle. No differences were detected for other taxa. In 1995, significantly fewer individuals of ten taxa, including A. fimetarius and A. distinctus , were collected with dung from treated cattle. No differences were detected for other taxa. A change in cattle diet may have altered levels of faecal residues, thereby changing beetle preferences between years. Comparisons between periods of spring and autumn activity identified a change in seasonal preferences for at least some species. Similar numbers of Onthophagus nuchicornis Linnaeus and of A. fimetarius were collected in spring with dung from treated or untreated cattle, but significantly more individuals of both taxa were collected in autumn with dung from untreated cattle. In contrast, the preference of Aphodius prodromus Brahm for dung from treated cattle was unchanged between spring and autumn. These results show that ivermectin therapy does influence the colonization of dung from treated cattle. However, the nature of this influence is confounded by extraneous factors. Until such time that these factors can be accounted for, general predictions regarding the effect of ivermectin therapy on the colonization of dung by coprophilous insects are premature.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith