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Effect of continuous and cyclic exposure to a cold environment on the development of larvae of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in different sized larval masses

Magni, P.A., Dhaliwal, S.S. and Dadour, I.R. (2016) Effect of continuous and cyclic exposure to a cold environment on the development of larvae of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in different sized larval masses. Journal of Medical Entomology, 53 (4). pp. 782-789.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjw036
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Abstract

Regulation of forensic practice in many countries prevents the pathologist performing an immediate autopsy. During the period prior to autopsy, the corpse and the insects possibly associated with it are stored in a mortuary with temperatures ∼4°C. When a corpse is found in a late stage of decay, fly immatures may be present as small or large larval masses. The purpose of refrigeration at 4°C is to slow down the decomposition of the corpse as well as the temporary disruption of the activity and development of the bacteria and the necrophagous insects associated with the corpse. The aim of this research is to investigate the growth and development of different larval masses of the blowfly Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) when stored in a cold environment (4°C). The research was divided into experimental sessions comprising different storage conditions (continuous or cyclic exposure to a cold environment) for immature stages (second and third instar) and included four different sizes of larval mass (∼100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 larvae) feeding on 4 kg of beef liver and replicated three times. Results show that if the larval mass has a size of ∼5,000 larvae, and the larvae have already reached third instar, then when they are exposed to a cold environment, their development continues. The storage condition at 4°C does not disrupt the development of such larvae. The number of larvae and their instar that make up the larval mass are essential data for the subsequent estimation of a correct minimum postmortem interval.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Authors 2016.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/31239
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