The responses of Glossina fuscipes fuscipes Newstead and other Diptera to carbon dioxide were studied in linear and dense forests along the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya. Flies were caught in biconical traps and were intercepted with electric nets while in flight near traps. Carbon dioxide dispensed at a high rate (5 l min–1) in linear forest failed to increase the numbers of tsetse attracted to or caught in traps. In contrast, catches of non-biting Muscidae, Stomoxyinae and Tabanidae were improved by up to 11 times. Inside dense forest, carbon dioxide released at half this rate increased both the numbers of female tsetse attracted to a trap and the catches in a trap by about 2–3 times. Catches of male tsetse were, however, not affected. Striking improvements for other Diptera were also realized (up to 102 times). Under a variety of conditions, unbaited biconical traps attracted many Diptera to the vicinity of a trap, but caught few flies due to low capture efficiencies (typically less than 10%). In contrast, efficiency estimates for G. f. fuscipes were good, varying from 37 to 82% in different habitats and seasons. These results are discussed in relation to the search for practical odour attractants for riverine tsetse.
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