Dipterans associated with a decomposing animal carcass in a rainforest fragment in Brazil: Notes on the early arrival and colonization by necrophagous species

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:S. D. Vasconcelos, Cruz, T. M., Salgado, R. L., Thyssen, P. J.
Journal:Journal of Insect Science
Date Published:2013/12/07
Keywords:blow flies, flesh flies, forensic entomology, forensic science, homicide, Milichiidae, rainforest

This study aimed to provide the first checklist of forensically-important dipteran species in a rainforest environment in Northeastern Brazil, a region exposed to high rates of homicides. Using a decomposing pig, Sus scrofa L. (Artiodactyla: Suidae), carcass as a model, adult flies were collected immediately after death and in the early stages of carcass decomposition. To confirm actual colonization of the carcass, insects that completed their larval development on the resource were also collected and reared until adult stage. A diverse assemblage of dipterans composed of at least 28 species from seven families with necrophagous habits was observed within minutes after death. Besides Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, species from forensically-important families such as Phoridae, Anthomyiidae, and Fanniidae were also registered. Eleven species were shown to complete their development on the carcass. The majority of individuals emerged from larvae collected at the dry stage of decomposition. Hemilucilia segmentaria Fabricius (Diptera: Calliphoridae), H. semidiaphana (Rondani), and Ophyra chalcogaster (Wiedemann) (Muscidae) were the dominant species among the colonizers, which supports their importance as forensic evidence in Brazil.

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