Houseflies (Musca domestica L) accumulated electrostatic charges when walking over clean, uncharged dielectric surfaces. The charges elicited on a walking housefly by a range of materials were quantified, allowing a triboelectric series to be determined relative to M domestica. This ranged from surfaces that charged individuals positively, eg Correx (corrugated polypropylene) [+54.1 (+4.2)pC], to those that applied a negative charge, eg clear cast acrylic [-14.9 (+/-2.9)pC]. Maximum positive and negative charges accumulated by individual M domestica were +73 and +27 pC. Replicate measurements on the same fly and surface showed little variation. Variation between individuals was not related to sex and was not consistent between surfaces. Different materials charged M domestica significantly differently and individual flies had significantly different charging properties. Variation in temperature between 21.3degreesC and 24.7degreesC and humidity between 24% and 41% RH significantly affected charge accumulated by M domestica on some surfaces, although further experimentation is needed to confirm this. The implications of this work are discussed in relation to insect trap design and pollination biology. (C) 2002 Society of Chemical Industry. <br/><br/><br/><br/
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