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Forensically relevant blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of Central Connecticut, USA

Pinto, J., Magni, P., O’Brien, R.C. and Dadour, I. (2021) Forensically relevant blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of Central Connecticut, USA. Forensic Science International, 327 . Art. 110940.

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Connecticut and the Northeastern United States in general, lacks forensically relevant entomological survey data. To determine which forensically relevant calliphorid (blow flies, Diptera: Calliphoridae) and non-calliphorid species dominate Connecticut, 5 traps using pork bait were set out 7 times over a 2-year period to collect adult and immature specimens. Insects collected from human corpses in this region were also tabulated to collaborate the forensic relevance of trapped specimens. The survey identified a total of 8 species of blow flies of the Lucilia and Calliphora genera, 6 of which colonized the baits, and 5 of which have been found to colonize human corpses in the area. Non-calliphorid genera Sarcophaga and Muscina were also found to be colonizers of the baited traps but in relatively lower numbers. Trap sites differed significantly in the degree of urbanization which was determined by using GIS mapping to classify a 1 kilometer (km) radius around each site using land use and the percent of urban impervious surfaces. The 1 km radius revealed the highly fragmented nature of the immediate habitats of the trap sites and no habitat or seasonal preference was demonstrated by blow flies under these trap conditions. Temperature was the one variable which significantly affected the number of flies trapped and the colonizing species. All trapped species have been described previously as widespread and common in the United States and as synanthropic. Further research in this region should trap at the constantly changing extreme ends of the urban–rural gradient and in the colder temperatures of winter to explore the limits of the flexibility of these blow fly species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
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