Ultrastructure analysis of the immature stages of Ravinia belforti (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), a species of medical-veterinary and forensic importance, by scanning electron microscopy

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Abstract

The postmortem interval is related to the age of immature species of flies found on corpses and can be estimated using data available in the literature on the biology of the species. The flesh fly Ravinia belforti is a carrier of enteric pathogens that can affect human and animal health as well as being of forensic importance. As the morphology of many immature Sarcophagidae is unknown, these immature forms must be collected and characterized after the emergence of the adult male. Here we describe and analyze the morphological characteristics of the larvae stages L1, L2, L3 and the puparium of R. belforti by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Ten specimens of each stage were analyzed. Larvae of R. belforti follow the typical muscoid vermiform pattern with 12 segments. The anterior region is pointed, while the posterior region is thicker. The spines of the cephalic collar are flattened and with double, triple or quadruple points, different from the spines along the body that only have a single point. In L2, the anterior spiracle is present with a varying number of papillae (16-22), differing from other species. The posterior spiracles are located within the peritreme. The spiracular cavity is internalized in the posterior region, following the pattern that differs Sarcophagidae from other families. L3 features more visible and developed spines around the cephalic collar, getting thicker and denser near to the first thoracic segment. Puparium is similar to other species of Sarcophagidae. This paper presents important data on this family which has both health and forensic importance. Furthermore, R. belforti shows significant differences from other species of Sarcophagidae.

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da-Silva-Xavier, A., & de Carvalho Queiroz, M. M. (2016). Ultrastructure analysis of the immature stages of Ravinia belforti (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), a species of medical-veterinary and forensic importance, by scanning electron microscopy. Acta Tropica, 159, 192–199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.03.039

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