|Study of postmortem colonisation by carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) and blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on pig carcasses in three selected biotopes
Dekeirsschieter J. 1, Haubruge E. 1
1 Department of Functional and Evolutionary Entomology, Agricultural University of Gembloux, Gembloux, Belgium
Forensic entomology is a branch of the forensic sciences which studies insects and other arthropods in a medico-legal context. The necrophagous insects, mainly Diptera and Coleoptera, have particular relationships with decomposing remains which constitute a rich ephemeral resource. Blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) are important “actors” of this specific ecosystem.
We collected the insects during six weeks (Spring 2007) from six pig carcasses (Sus domesticus L.) placed by pairs (placed 50m from each other) in three experimental sites: a forest biotope, an agricultural zone and an urban site. Six pitfall traps and two yellow traps with soapy water have been arranged around each carcass. The entomological traps were sorted and replaced every week; insects were kept in Norvanol.
Concerning Calliphoridae, three subfamilies were identified: Lucilinae (Lucilia Caesar L., Lucilia sericata Meigen), Calliphorinae (Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy, Calliphora vomitoria L.), Chrysomiinae (Phormia regina Meigen). Carrion beetles belong to the Silphinae (Oiceoptoma thoracica L., Thanatophilus sinuata F., Thanatophilus rugosus F., Necrodes littoralis L.) and Nicrophorinae (Nicrophorus humator Ol., Nicrophorus vespillo L., Nicrophorus vespilloides Herbst.)
Silphidae were exclusively found in the “open-air” biotopes with differences between species in forest biotope (Nicrophorinae) and agricultural site (Silphinae). Blowflies’ species (Lucilia sp.) are different in urban site and “open-air” biotope.