Effects of antemortem ingestion of ethanol on insect successional patterns and development of Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

  • Tabor K
  • Fell R
  • Brewster C
 et al. 
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Abstract

The effects of antemortem ingestion of ethanol by domestic pigs, Sus scrofa L., on postmortem insect successional patterns and the development of Phormia regina (Meigen) were studied during summer 2003 in Blacksburg, VA. Insect samples were collected from the carcasses of ethanol-treated and untreated pigs for 10 d postmortem during two successional studies. In total, 32 insect taxa were collected during the two studies, with 29 and 27 taxa observed on the carcasses of ethanol-treated and untreated pigs, respectively. The earliest arrivers to both carcass types were dipterans. This group was represented by six families, with P. regina and Phaenicia coeruleiviridis (Macquart) being the most common calliphorids. Beetles in six families were collected on the carcasses of ethanol-treated pigs, but only three of the families were collected on carcasses of the untreated pigs. Permutation analyses to test the null hypothesis of no similarity between successional patterns of insect taxa from carcasses of ethanol-treated and untreated pigs showed that the successional patterns were similar between carcass types in the first (P = 0.003) and the second (P = 0.01) studies. The results of the development study of P. regina maggots in the field show that there was a significant difference between the distributions of length for maggots reared on loin tissue from ethanol-treated and untreated pigs. Maggots that fed on tissue from ethanol-treated pigs took approximately 11.9 h longer to reach the pupal stage than maggots that fed on tissue from untreated pigs. The longer developmental time for maggots on tissue from ethanol-treated pigs was due mainly to the longer postfeeding period of the third instar.

Author-supplied keywords

  • development
  • entomotoxicology
  • forensic entomology
  • phormia
  • successional pattern

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Authors

  • Kimberly L Tabor

  • Richard D Fell

  • Carlyle C Brewster

  • Kevin Pelzer

  • George S Behonick

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