J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 62: 80 (1991)
SARCOPHAGID FLIES ASSOCIATED WITH PITCHER PLANTS
(SARRACENIA SPP.) IN THE CENTRAL GULF REGION
S. P. Yanoviak1 and G. W. Folkerts2
1Department of Entomology, 2Department of Zoology
Auburn University, Alabama 36849 USA
Species of two flesh fly (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) genera complete larval development within the mass of insect remains found inside the tubular leaves of pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.). More than fifty flies were collected from various pitcher plant sites in coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. Adult flies were collected with a sweep net. Larvae were removed from pitchers of Sarracenia alata, S. leucophylla, S. flava, S. rubra ssp. wherryi, and S. purpurea. These were reared to adulthood in the laboratory using apparatus that mimicked conditions inside and outside the pitchers of Sarracenia sp. Sarraceniomyia sarraceniae (Riley) was the most abundant fly collected, followed by Fletcherimyia rileyi (Aldrich) and Fletcherimyia celarata (Aldrich). Up to four larvae were found to simultaneously inhabit a single pitcher. Fly larvae leave the pitchers and burrow to a depth of several centimeters in the surrounding soil to pupate. Larvae appear to overwinter in the soil. The length of the pupal stage is uncertain, but adult flies emerge approximately 25 days after larvae leave the pitchers and enter the soil. It is likely that all species may pass through several generations during a season. Evidence of host plant specificity was not detected among the flies collected.