First observations of initial blow fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae) activity on lava fields and in subterranean environments in sicily in cool temperatures

Maria Denise Gemmellaro, Carmelo Bucolo, Elisa Musumeci, George C. Hamilton, Lauren M. Weidner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In criminal cases involving the recovery of human remains, as well as in cases of myiasis and pest management, the expertise of a forensic entomologist has been requested more and more frequently in Sicily. Recently, research on the insect species of forensic interest in Sicily has been investigated.The aim of this research was to raise awareness of this discipline and to build a Sicilian entomofauna checklist during cool temperatures.The predominant species observed in this study was Calliphora vicina (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera, Calliphoridae), the first to colonize the carcasses; Lucilia spp. (Diptera, Calliphoridae) were also present. We wanted to explore the potential insect activity on decaying matter both on lava fields, exposed to sunlight, and in dark subterraneous environments. No activity was observed in our dark environment for 20 d; then, C. vicina was observed on one of the carcasses, laying eggs in complete darkness at a temperature of 6.4°C. Larval development under these conditions was delayed and the mortality rate was high.This preliminary trial allowed us to improve our experimental design and helped map new sites where we can expand our research to collect new data on insect distribution and their activity in caves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1626
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calliphora
  • Cold temperature
  • Colonization
  • Dark environment
  • Decomposition
  • Forensic entomology
  • Volcanic cave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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