Identification of stable fly attractant compounds in vinasse, a byproduct of sugarcane–ethanol distillation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae), is a worldwide pest of livestock. Recent outbreaks of stable flies in sugarcane fields in Brazil have become a serious problem for livestock producers. Larvae and pupae found inside sugarcane stems after harvesting may indicate that stable flies use these stems as potential oviposition or larval development sites. Field observations suggest that outbreaks of stable flies are associated with the vinasse and filter cake derived from biomass distillation in sugarcane ethanol production that are used as fertilizers in sugarcane fields. Adult stable flies are attracted to vinasse, which appears to present an ideal larval development site. The primary goal of the present study is to demonstrate the role of vinasse in influencing the sensory physiological and behavioural responses of stable flies, and to identify its associated volatile attractant compounds. Both laboratory and field studies showed that vinasse is extremely attractive to adult stable flies. Chemical analyses of volatiles collected revealed a wide range of carboxylic acids, alcohols, phenols and aldehydes as potential attractant compounds. These newly identified attractants could be used to develop a tool for the attractant-baited mass trapping of stable flies in order to reduce infestations.


  • N. S. Jelvez Serra
  • H. F. Goulart
  • M. F. Triana
  • S. Dos Santos Tavares
  • C. I.M. Almeida
  • J. G. da Costa
  • A. E.G. Santana
  • J. J. Zhu
External organisations
  • Federal University of Alagoas
  • Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Agricultural Sciences not elsewhere specified
  • Zoology


  • Attractants, GC-EAG, GC-MS, integrated pest management, stable fly, vinasse
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-391
Number of pages11
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch