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The effect of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) on the survival and the life cycle of two species of necrophagous blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Essarras, A., Pazzi, M., Dadour, I.R. and Magni, P.A. (2018) The effect of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) on the survival and the life cycle of two species of necrophagous blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Science & Justice, 58 (2). pp. 85-89.

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Entomotoxicology involves the analysis of the presence and the effects of toxicological substances in necrophagous insects. Results obtained by entomotoxicological studies may assist in the investigation of both the causes and the time of death of humans and animals. Ethylene glycol (EG) is easy to purchase, sweet and extremely toxic. It may be consumed accidentally or purposefully, in an attempt to cause death for suicidal or homicidal intent. Several cases report fatalities of humans and animals. The present study is the first to examine the effects of EG on the survival, developmental rate and morphology of two blowfly species, (Diptera: Calliphoridae) typically found on corpses and carcasses: Lucilia sericata (Meigen) and L. cuprina (Wiedemann). Both species were reared on substrates (beef liver) spiked with three different concentrations of EG that could cause death in either a human or cat: 1/2LD50 (T1), LD50 (T2), 2LD50 (T3), in addition to a control treatment (C) with no EG.

Results of this research show that: a) both species are unable to survive if reared on a food substrate spiked with the highest concentration of EG (T3), while lower and medium concentrations (T1, T2) affect, but not prevent, the survival and the completion of the life cycle of such species; b) adults of L. sericata eclose only in C and T1, while adults of L. cuprina in both C, T1, T2; however, c) the developmental time of both species reared in T1 and T2 is statistically slower than the control; d) the body length of the immatures of both of the species reared in T1 and T2 is statistically smaller than the control.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Forensic Science Society
Copyright: © 2017 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd on behalf of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
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