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A preliminary investigation of insect succession on carrion in Calabria (southern Italy)

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image of Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews

We present data from the first study of successional patterns of insect fauna in Calabria (southern Italy). The aim was to identify and qualitatively assess the major taxa of forensic importance in this region. Studies were conducted in autumn-winter 2006, summer 2007 and winter 2008 in the Botanical Garden, University of Calabria. Over 50 taxa were collected and identified. The most abundant fly species were Lucilia caesar (Linnaeus, 1758), L. sericata (Meigen, 1826), Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann, 1819), Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830, C. vomitoria (Linnaeus, 1758), Sarcophaga spp., Amobia sp ., Musca domestica Linnaeus, 1758, and Muscina stabulans ((Fallén). The successional patterns, relative abundance of adult sarcosaprophagous insects, carcass decay, diversity and seasonality of species are described and the taxa useful for estimating the post-mortem interval (PMI) are identified. The data of this study could be very useful for further forensic investigations in southern Italy.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Ecologia, Università della Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy; 2: Azienda Sanitaria Provinciale, Sezione di Medicina Legale, 87100 Cosenza, Italy


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