Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae) associated with human corpses in Alexandria, Egypt
Tarek I. Tantawi , Ibrahim E. El-Shenawy , Hoda F. Abd El-Salam , Somia A. Madkour , Nevine M. Mahany
Journal Title:Journal of Bioscience and Applied Research
During the period from 20 May 2000 to 8 May 2002, 15 human corpses found in different seasons and habitats in Alexandria, Egypt were investigated for insect evidence. The aim of the present study was to identify and record the different species of flies infesting the corpses to establish a database for the potential use of insects as forensic indicators in Alexandria. Insect collecting was performed during autopsy at El-Esaaf Morgue, Kom El-Deka, Alexandria. All the corpses examined were enrolled in death investigations. Larvae of six fly species belonging to three families were collected from the corpses; Calliphora vicina, Chrysomya albiceps, Chrysomya megacephala, and Lucilia sericata (Calliphoridae); Sarcophaga argyrostoma (Sarcophagidae); and Muscina stabulans (Muscidae). These fly species were the initial colonizers of the corpses and, hence, are important in minimum postmortem interval estimates in Alexandria. Larvae of Calliphoridae were the most common and abundant insects, collected from 86.66% of the corpses and infested corpses in all seasons and habitats. Chr. albiceps was the most common species, invading 73.33% of the corpses of which 33.33% of infestations were found in urban, indoor situations. Outdoor infestations of corpses by this species accounted for 40%. Larvae of Chr. albiceps were collected from corpses in all seasons and were found to monopolize six corpses. Chr. megacephala, L. sericata, and S. argyrostoma were able to invade each 20% of the corpses where they acted as primary flies. S. argyrostoma was found to be a highly indicative species to corpses found in urban, indoor habitats during the warmer seasons. Three cases of forensic entomology interest are presented and discussed.