In Penang, Malaysia, the Oriental and Afrotropical Megaselia curtineura (Brues) and the Oriental and Japanese Megaselia spiracularis Schmitz are reported from human corpses, these being the first reports of these species in such forensic cases.
The likelihood of dipteran maggots colonizing a corpse due to nocturnal oviposition can be used to challenge the postmortem interval (PMI) estimated assuming diurnal oviposition. Earlier experiments tested nocturnal oviposition behavior by exposing fresh baits once during a single night. In this pilot study, oviposition behavior was studied using beef baits, which, simulating the decay of the body seen in case situations, decomposed inside cages designed to open and close at scheduled intervals during consecutive night or twilight periods. Freshly hatched maggots from diurnally oviposited eggs emerged in control baits on the third day, while a limited number of maggots attributable to nocturnal or twilight oviposition were observed in experimental baits only on the fifth or sixth day, indicating a categorical delay. These results suggest that such delayed and limited nocturnal oviposition is not forensically significant since the larger maggots deriving from diurnal oviposition would be the ones considered when estimating PMI.
Four new species of Stigmatomyces (Ascomycetes, Laboulbeniales, Stigmatomycetinae) parasitic on flies (Diptera) are described. These are S. benjaminii, parasitic on Spilochroa polita (Trixoscelididae) from Mexico, S. munarii, parasitic on Trixoscelis namibensis (Trixoscelididae) from Namibia, S. neurochaetae parasitic on Neurochaeta parviceps (Neurochaetidae) from Malaysia, and S. zaleae, parasitic on Zalea spp. (Tethinidae) from Australia. Both Trixoscelididae and Neurochaetidae are new host families for Laboulbeniales.
Microsatellite primers are often developed in one species and used to assess neutral variability in related species. Such analyses may be confounded by ascertainment bias (i.e. a decline in amplification success and allelic variability with increasing genetic distance from the source of the microsatellites). In addition, other factors, such as the size of the microsatellite, whether it consists of perfect or interrupted tandem repeats, and whether it is autosomal or X-linked, can affect variation. To test the relative importance of these factors on microsatellite variation, we examine patterns of amplification and allelic diversity in 52 microsatellite loci amplified from five individuals in each of six populations of Cyrtodiopsis stalk-eyed flies that range from 2.2 % to 11.2% mitochondrial DNA sequence divergence from the population used for microsatellite development. We find that amplification success and most measures of allelic diversity declined with genetic distance from the source population, in some cases an order of magnitude faster than in birds or mammals. The median and range of the repeat array length did not decline with genetic distance. In addition, for loci on the X chromosome, we find evidence of lower observed heterozygosity compared with loci on autosomes. The differences in variability between X-linked and autosomal loci are not adequately explained by differences in effective population sizes of the chromosomes. We suggest, instead, that periodic selection events associated with X-chromosome meiotic drive, which is present in many of these populations, reduces X-linked variation.
Two types of municipal solid waste (MSW), newly arrived and 2 weeks old, were sampled from a sanitary landfill in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia at a fortnightly interval and kept under field conditions for 2 weeks. A total of 480 kg of each type of MSW was sampled to study species composition and impact of delays in cover soil applications on filth fly emergence. Out of 960 kg of MSW sampled, 9.2 ± 0.5 flies emerged per kilogram. Weekly adult fly emergence rates of newly arrived and 2-week-old waste did not differ significantly and MSW remained suitable for fly breeding for up to 1 month. Eight species of flies emerged from the MSW: namely, Musca domestica, Musca sorbens, Synthesiomyia nudiseta, Hydrotaea chalcogaster, Chrysomya megacephala, Lucilia cuprina, Hemipyrellia ligurriens and Sarcophaga sp. Newly arrived waste was determined to be the main source for M. domestica, C. megacephala and L. cuprina in the landfill owing to significantly higher mean emergence compared with 2-week-old waste. Musca sorbens was found in newly arrived waste but not in 2-week-old waste, suggesting that the species was able to survive transportation to landfill but unable to survive landfill conditions. Hemipyrellia ligurriens, H. chalcogaster and S. nudiseta were not imported into the landfill with MSW and pre-existing flies in and around the landfill itself may be their source. The results show that landfills can be a major source of fly breeding if cover soil or temporary cover is not applied daily or on a regular schedule.
A case of true enteric myiasis in a 7-year-old girl is reported. Two larvae were obtained from the vomitus of the patient. After processing and identification, the larvae were found to be those of Hermetia illucens (Soldier Fly). This is the first case of true enteric myiasis due to these larvae in Malaysia.
The role of some adult flies (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha) as carriers of helminth parasites of man was studied at four sites in Malaysia: a refuse dump, where no helminth-positive flies were detected, and in three peri-domestic situations where four species of flies carried up to three types of nematodes. The dominant fly species Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) carried eggs of the roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides L., the pinworm Trichuris trichiura (L.) and hookworm on the adult external body surface and in the gut lumen, in association with Bukit Lanjan aborigines. Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) and Sarcophaga spp. also had Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichurus trichiura eggs in their gut contents. Human helminths were not recovered from Lispe leucospila (Wiedemann), Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann) or the housefly Musca domestica L. In an urban slum area of Kuala Lumpur city, filariform larvae identified as the hookworm Necator americanus (Stiles) occurred in the intestines of the face-fly Musca sorbens Wiedemann (22 larvae per 100 flies) and of Chrysomya megacephala (4.5 larvae per 100 flies). This concentration of apparently infective N. americanus in M. sorbens, a fly which often breeds in faeces and browses on human skin, could have transmission potential.
1. Three natural populations and a laboratory strain of Aedes albopictus were analysed for glucose phosphate isomerase by means of horizontal starch-gel electrophoresis. 2. The electrophoretic phenotypes were governed by five codominant Gpi alleles. 3. The commonest allele in all the four population samples was GpiC which encoded an electrophoretic band with intermediate mobility. 4. The distributions of GPI phenotypes were in accordance with Hardy-Weinberg expectations. 5. The four population samples could be differentiated by the presence of a unique Gpi allele or the absence of a particular Gpi allele.
A case of urogenital myiasis caused by Chrysomya bezziana (Diptera: Calliphoridae) was diagnosed in a 76-year old patient who had carcinoma of the rectum. A total of 35 larvae were obtained from ulcers near the external genitalia and urethra opening. Larvae pupated within 1 to 2 days and 6 days later emerged as adult males. These were identified as Chrysomya bezziana. Female flies possibly attracted by the fetid odour, laid eggs in the existing lesions in the urogenital area, the larvae invading and feeding on living tissue. Lack of personal hygiene was the contributing factor for the cause of urogenital myiasis in this patient.
Forensic entomology refers to the science of collection and analysis of insect evidence in order to determine the minimum time period since death. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of forensically important flies on 34 human remains referred to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre over a period of three years. Entomological specimens were collected at the death scenes and/or during autopsies. Live specimens were reared into adults while preserved specimens were processed for species identification. Five families, seven genera and nine species of flies were identified from human remains. The results of the study showed Chrysomya megacephala (Calliphoridae) maggots occurred on corpses with the highest frequency (70.6%), followed by Ch. rufifacies (Calliphoridae) (44.1%), sarcophagid fly (Sarcophagidae) (38.2%), Synthesiomya nudiseta (Muscidae) (20.6%), Megaselia scalaris (Phoridae) (14.7%), Lucilia cuprina (Calliphoridae) (5.9%), Ch. nigripes (Calliphoridae) (5.9%), Eristalis spp. (Syrphidae) (5.9%) and Hydrotaea spinigera (Muscidae) (2.9%). The greatest fly diversity occurred on remains recovered indoors (eight species) compared to outdoors (three species). Whilst, single and double infestations were common for both indoor and outdoor cases, multiple infestation of up to six species was observed in one of the indoor cases. Although large numbers of fly species were found on human remains, the predominant species were still those of Chrysomya, while S. nudiseta was found only on human remains recovered from indoors. The present study provides additional knowledge in the context of Malaysian forensic entomology and the distribution of forensically important flies which is of relevance to forensic science.
Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae) provides great evidential value in estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) compared with other dipterans due to its common occurrence on human corpses both indoors and in concealed environments. Studies have focused on the effect of temperature, larval diet, and photoperiod on the development of the species; however, knowledge of M. scalaris development at different moisture levels is insufficient. This study aimed to investigate the effects of substrate moisture on the larval development time, pupal recovery, pupal weight, adult emergence, and adult head width of M. scalaris. The larvae were reared in five replicates on substrates with six moisture levels ranging from 50 to 90%. Larvae and puparia were sampled daily, and the collection time, number, and weight were recorded, measured, and then compared using multivariate analysis of variance with a post hoc least significant difference test. Larvae developed most quickly (3.75 ± 0.04 d) at 50% substrate moisture; the larvae were able to survive in extremely wet substrates (90% moisture), but the development time was significantly longer (6.48 ± 0.19 d). Moisture greatly influenced the pupation rate and adult emergence but showed a weak effect on the pupae weight and adult head width. Due to the significance of moisture on the development of M. scalaris, PMI estimation using M. scalaris with cadavers of different moisture content must be carefully conducted to avoid inaccuracy.
A number of species are affected by Sex-Ratio (SR) meiotic drive, a selfish genetic element located on the X-chromosome that causes dysfunction of Y-bearing sperm. SR is transmitted to up to 100% of offspring, causing extreme sex ratio bias. SR in several species is found in a stable polymorphism at a moderate frequency, suggesting there must be strong frequency-dependent selection resisting its spread. We investigate the effect of SR on female and male egg-to-adult viability in the Malaysian stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni. SR meiotic drive in this species is old, and appears to be broadly stable at a moderate (approx. 20%) frequency. We use large-scale controlled crosses to estimate the strength of selection acting against SR in female and male carriers. We find that SR reduces the egg-to-adult viability of both sexes. In females, homozygous females experience greater reduction in viability (sf = 0.242) and the deleterious effects of SR are additive (h = 0.511). The male deficit in viability (sm = 0.214) is not different from that in homozygous females. The evidence does not support the expectation that deleterious side effects of SR are recessive or sex-limited. We discuss how these reductions in egg-to-adult survival, as well as other forms of selection acting on SR, may maintain the SR polymorphism in this species.
Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. 'Sala' and 'Chok Anan'. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any fruit set in the absence of pollinators. In natural condition, we found that Sala produced 4.8% fruit set per hermaphrodite flower while Chok Anan produced 3.1% per flower. Hand pollination tremendously increased fruit set of naturally pollinated flower for Sala (>100%), but only 33% for Chok Anan. Pollinator contribution to mango fruit set was estimated at 53% of total fruit set production. Our results highlighted the importance of insect pollinations in mango production. Large size flies Eristalinus spp. and Chrysomya spp. were found to be effective pollen carriers and visited more mango flowers compared with other flower visitors.
The larval parasitoid Verticia fasciventris Malloch (Diptera: Calliphoridae) develops in the head of soldiers of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes carbonarius (Hagen) (Isoptera: Termitidae). Morphological and behavioral changes in the host were evaluated and the termite castes and stages that were parasitized were identified. The larval emergence process is also described and possible mechanisms for the parasitoid fly's entry into the host body are discussed based on qualitative observations. Only a single larva per host was found. The mature larva pupated outside the host's body by exiting between the abdominal cerci. Parasitized soldiers possess a short and square-shaped head capsule, a pair of notably short mandibles, and a pair of 18-segmented antennae. Although parasitized soldiers were statistically less aggressive than healthy soldiers (P < 0.05), they expressed varying levels of aggression. Both minor and major soldiers can be parasitized and based on evidence from presoldiers, parasitization may begin during the precursor stages of soldiers. However, the stage at which parasitism first occurs has not been determined.
Under normal circumstances, insects such as blow flies will oviposit and larvae will colonize a carcass as soon as possible. However, insect colonization on a carcass may be delayed due to the effects of wrapping, shallow burial, addition of lime derivatives to mitigate scavenging and odor, or extreme weather. The impacts of delayed insect colonization on carcass decomposition and its subsequent effect on soil chemistry profiles have not been examined to date. The objectives of this study were to determine soil chemistry dynamics associated with porcine carcasses experiencing delayed insect colonization for 7-day or 14-day. Soil chemistry profiles such as ammonium-N (NH4 -N), orthophosphate-P (PO4 -P), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were significantly different among treatments: insect inclusion (immediate access of blow fly colonization on porcine carcasses), 7-day insect exclusion and 14-day insect exclusion (blow fly access was delayed up to 7-day and 14-day). Furthermore, significant differences of soil chemical profiles were detected between days of decomposition and soil regions. Soil moisture, NH4 -N, PO4 -P, and DOC were significantly higher when insects were excluded from the porcine carcass suggesting loss of tissue from larval feeding reduced the mass of nutrients entering the soil. This study provides useful information for forensic science in cases where insect colonization is delayed for a period of time postmortem and soil chemistry in the cadaver decomposition island is considered for estimating postmortem interval.
Signal fly, Scholastes sp. (Diptera: Platystomatidae) was observed associated with animal carcasses in Malaysia. The first observation was on a monkey carcass, which was killed by using a handgun and immediately placed in a forested area in Gombak, Selangor while the second observation was on a pig that died of natural causes and whose carcass was placed in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor. Both animal carcasses were visited by Scholastes sp. flies during the fresh decomposition period. However, the role Scholastes flies in the decomposition process remains unknown. In this paper, we report the occurrence of Scholastes sp. on animal carcasses in Malaysia for the first time.
During a forensic entomological study conducted in a palm oil plantation in Tg.Sepat, Selangor in September 2007, a spider (Arachnida), Oxyopes sp. (Oxyopidae) was found to predate on a calliphorid fly (Chrysomya rufifacies). The female spider laid a silk thread, or "drag line", behind it as it moved. This spider bites its prey by using a pairs of chelicerae, and injecting venom into the fly. The fly was moving its wing trying to escape, however, it succumbed to the deadly bite.
The type and amount of resources available significantly influences the structure and dynamics of food webs. In this study, we analyzed differences in species richness of scavengers based on carcass type in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We collected insects from experimental carcasses of three different types, domestic dogs (Canidae, Canis lupus familiaris), Hijazi goats (Bovidae, Capra aegagrus hircus), and camels (Camelidae, Camelus dromedarius). Data collection was conducted during the decay stage in June, 2016. We used mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) barcodes as a marker for the molecular identification of the scavenger insects. The results showed that there were more insects on the camels and goats than the dogs. In total, seven species were found on all carrions. Six species were found on the camels and goats, but only five were found on the dog. Musca domestica was the most collected species of flies whereas, Necrobia rufipes was the most collected species of beetles. Overall, this study showed that carrion type had an effect on the type and number of insects attracted to the carrions. Thus, one of the significant factors that influence the associated scavenger assemblage is a carcass type.