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Developmental Plasticity of the Flesh Fly Blaesoxipha plinthopyga (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) on Different Substrates

NCJ Number
Journal of Medical Entomology Volume: 57 Issue: 6 Dated: 2020 Pages: 1686-1693
Date Published
8 pages

Because of the few laboratory studies on the development of the flesh fly Blaesoxipha plinthopyga - which occurs in casework in Idaho, Texas, and central California -  the current study was conducted to determine whether different substrates impact immature development of this species.


Forensic entomologists rely on laboratory growth data to estimate the time of colonization on human remains thus extrapolating a minimum postmortem interval (PMI) if assumptions are satisfied. In the current study, flies were reared on different substrates that are likely to be encountered at indoor and outdoor scenes (Wet Sand, Dry Sand, Clothes [Polyester fibers], and Carpet [Polypropylene fibers]) to determine the influence of substrate on larval, intrapuparial, and total immature development times at 25°C, 50 percent RH, and 14:10 (L:D) h cycle. The results revealed that substrate significantly affected minimum immature development times without affecting the sexes differently, although a female bias in sex ratio was observed consistently. Average minimum larval developmental times were 160–179 h with a significantly faster development in Carpet than in Clothes. Similarly, average minimum intrapuparial developmental times were 331–352 h; fastest on Carpet and the slowest in Dry Sand. For this species, it may be important to consider the substrates encountered at a death scene as they may affect the development of B. plinthopyga (Wiedemann) in casework by up to 29 h at 25°C and 50 percent humidity. These effects will also be important to consider when planning future development studies with the species. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2020