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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HIGHER DIPTERA PESTS OF LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND HUMAN HEALTH: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT AND ADULT BIOLOGY

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: Larval distribution and behavior of Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) (Diptera:Calliphoridae) relative to other species on Florida black bear(Carnivora:Ursidae) decomposing carcasses

Authors
item Swiger, S -
item Hogsette, Jerome
item Butler, J -

Submitted to: Neotropical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 5, 2013
Publication Date: February 1, 2014
Citation: Swiger, S.L., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Butler, J.F. 2014. Larval distribution and behavior of Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) (Diptera:Calliphoridae) relative to other species on Florida black bear(Carnivora:Ursidae) decomposing carcasses. Neotropical Entomology. 43:21-26.

Interpretive Summary: Interactions of blow fly larvae were recorded daily on 5 black bear carcasses. Cochliomyia macellaria or Chrysomya megacephala larvae were collected first, then Chrysomya rufifacies layed eggs in multiple locations on the carcasses uninhabited by the other larvae. After 1 week of decomposition, Ch. rufifacies larvae grew to = 12 mm, filling carcasses and replacing other larvae by food competition or predation. Thus C. macellaria and Ch. megacephala were not collected past their 3rd instar feeding stage. The same blow fly species, including Lucilia caeruleiviridis, Phormia regina, and Lucilia sericata, completed 2 development cycles in the 88.5-kg (195 lb) carcass. This phenomenon could complicate or prevent calculation of an accurate post mortem interval.

Technical Abstract: Larval interactions of blow flies were documented daily temporally and spatially on 5 black bear carcasses from June – November, 2002. Cochliomyia macellaria or Chrysomya megacephala larvae were collected first, then Chrysomya rufifacies oviposited in multiple locations on the carcasses uninhabited by the other blow fly larvae. After one week of decomposition, Ch. rufifacies larvae grew to = 12 mm, filling the carcasses and replacing the other calliphorid larvae through food source competition or predation. As a result, C. macellaria and Ch. megacephala were not collected past their 3rd instar feeding stage. The same blow fly species, Ch. megacephala, C. macellaria, Lucilia caeruleiviridis, Phormia regina, Lucilia sericata and Ch. rufifacies, completed 2 developmental cycles in the 88.5-kg (195 lb) carcass. This phenomenon might serve to complicate or prevent the calculation of an accurate post mortem interval.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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