Myiasis is a pathological condition in humans and animals caused by various species of dipterous larvae. Myiasis which occurs in a newborn baby is referred as neonatal myiasis. It is a rare condition and there are only a few reports to date. A case of neonatal aural myiasis in a two day old infant is reported in this paper.
A morphological and molecular analysis was undertaken with the objective of identifying markers for geographical populations of Old World screwworm flies, Chrysomya bezziana Villeneuve (Diptera: Calliphoridae). The morphological analysis involved 192 adult flies from 14 countries, and the molecular analysis involved 45 larvae or adults from 14 populations in 11 countries. Principal components and cluster analysis of 10 morphological characters indicated that flies from Papua New Guinea (PNG) were a distinct group and most similar to flies from nearby Asian islands (Java, Sabah). There was poor resolution of other geographical regions, but some support for clustering of flies from Africa or India. Cladistic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences gave strong support for recognizing two races of Old World screwworm, one from sub-Saharan Africa and the other from the Gulf region and Asia. This latter race could be further divided into two lineages, i.e. one from mainland Asia (from Iraq to the Malay Peninsula) and the other from two islands of PNG.
The problem of difficulty in obtaining cloud-free scene at the equatorial region from satellite platforms can be
overcome by using airborne imagery as an attempt for introducing an economical method of remote sensing
data; which only requires a digital camera to provide near time data. Forty three digital images were captured
using a high resolution digital camera model pentax optio A40 (12 megapixels)at a selected location in the same day in Penang Island from a low-altitude flying autopilot aircraft (CropCam) to generate land use/land cover (LULC) map of the test area. The CropCam was flown at an average altitude of 320 meters over the ground while capturing images which were taken during two flying missions for the duration of approximately 15 and 20 minutes respectively. The CropCam was equipped with a digital camera as a sensor to capture the GPS points based digital images according to the present time to ensure the mosaic of the digital images. Forty one images were used in providing a mosaic image of a bigger coverage of area (full panorama). Training samples were collected simultaneously when the CropCam captured the images by using hand held GPS. Supervised classification techniques, such as the maximum likelihood, minimum-to-distance, and parallelepiped were applied to the panoramic image to generate LULC map for the study area. It was found that the maximum likelihood classifier produce superior results and achieved a high degree of accuracy. The results indicated that the CropCam equipped with a high resolution digital camera can be useful and suitable tool for the tropical region, and this technique could reduce the cost and time of acquiring images for LULC mapping.
Siasatan terhadap taburan dan kelimpahan kumpulan pemakanan
makroinvertebrata akuatik di Sungai Bogak, Kerian dan Serdang di lembangan sungai
Kerian menunjukkan terdapat 120 genera dari 59 keluarga dari 13 order makroinvertebrata.
Pemangsa terutamanya Odonata, Hemiptera dan Coleoptera adalah kumpulan yang paling
biasa dan didapati dalam kepadatan tinggi di Sungai Bogak (sungai yang diubah suai)
dan Sungai Kerian (sungai utama). Kumpulan dominan kedua di kedua-dua sungai itu
adalah pemungut-kumpul (Diptera dan Ephemeroptera) diikuti oleh pengikis (moluska).
Pola kumpulan pemakanan yang berlainan diperhatikan di Sungai Serdang (anak Sungai
Kerian). Kumpulan yang paling banyak adalah pemungut-kumpul, diikuti oleh pemangsa
dan pengikis. Secara umum, kelimpahan pemangsa menunjukkan korelasi positif dengan
kelimpahan mangsa mereka (kumpulan pemakanan lain). Kelimpahan pemangsa terutama
di Sungai Bogak dan Kerian, sangat dipengaruhi oleh parameter seperti PO43-, NO3-N
dan Zn. Kelimpahan pemungut-kumpul di sungai Serdang pula dipengaruhi oleh suhu
dan halaju air, TSS, kekeruhan serta kandungan Mn dan Cu di dalam sedimen. Walau
bagaimanapun, semua parameter air mempengaruhi secara lemah kelimpahan kumpulan
pemakanan di semua lokasi. Banyak pemungut-kumpul di Sungai Serdang dikaitkan dengan
air yang diperkaya oleh sisa antropogenik dari kawasan kediaman sekitar. Pada umumnya,
kumpulan pemakanan yang dominan di setiap sungai mencerminkan pengaruh keadaan
persekitaran yang berbeza dan ketersediaan sumber makanan di kawasan tersebut
Estimation of post-mortem interval (PMI) is crucial for time of death determination. The advent of DNA-based identification techniques forensic entomology saw the beginning of a proliferation of molecular studies into forensically important Calliphoridae (Diptera). The use of DNA to characterise morphologically indistinguishable immature calliphorids was recognised as a valuable molecular tool with enormous practical utility. The local entomofauna in most cases is important for the examination of entomological evidences. The survey of the local entomofauna has become a fundamental first step in forensic entomological studies, because different geographical distributions, seasonal and environmental factors may influence the decomposition process and the occurrence of different insect species on corpses. In this study, calliphorids were collected from 13 human corpses recovered from indoors, outdoors and aquatic conditions during the post-mortem examination by pathologists from the government hospitals in Malaysia. Only two species, Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies were recovered from human corpses. DNA sequencing was performed to study the mitochondrial encoded COI gene and to evaluate the suitability of the 1300 base pairs of COI fragments for identification of blow fly species collected from real crime scene. The COI gene from blow fly specimens were sequenced and deposited in GenBank to expand local databases. The sequenced COI gene was useful in identifying calliphorids retrieved from human corpses.
This study investigated the influence of paraquat, a prevalent poison used by suicides, on initial oviposition and development of Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) using minced-beef substrates. Paraquat in lethal dose for human (40 mg/kg), two times the lethal dose (80 mg/kg) and five times the lethal dose (200 mg/kg) were mixed thoroughly with respective minced-beef substrates (1 kg each) that were decomposed in a shaded habitat fully protected from rain. Results of four replications of the above experiment revealed that the presence of paraquat neither delayed initial oviposition nor prolonged the developmental stages of C. megacephala. Therefore, estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) based on empirical baseline data obtained using animal models devoid of any poisons would still be appropriate for estimating PMI in paraquat-related deaths.
Cosmopolitan scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae) is one of the commonest forensic species recorded colonizing human corpse indoors and in concealed environment. The occurrence of this species in such environments provides a higher evidential value to assist estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) compared to other forensically important dipterans. However, developmental and size data of M. scalaris are still lacking and they are derived from a limited range of thermal values. The objective of this study is to develop the growth model of M. scalaris by emphasizing the size range of larvae and puparia at different constant temperatures. This species was reared in six replicates at eight varying constant temperatures ranging from 23 to 36 °C and cow's liver was provided as food source. Larvae and puparia were sampled at set time intervals and measured by their length and weight. Because interpretation of forensic entomological evidence is subject to application of different techniques, development of M. scalaris is expressed herein by using developmental table, length/morphological stage diagrams and linear/nonlinear estimation methods. From the findings, it is very important to highlight that sexual dimorphism of M. scalaris during post feeding larva and pupa stage could be observed based on size and developmental periods. Mean length and weight ratios of male to female puparia are approximately 0.8 and 0.3-0.5, respectively, indicating sexual dimorphism of this species. Developmental period in female are 4.0-11.4 h (post feeding larval stage), 3.7-24.0 h (pupal stage), and 3.0-20.1 h (total developmental period) longer in male. Due to this dimorphism, PMI estimation using M. scalaris post feeding larva or puparium specimens must be carried out carefully by to avoid inaccuracy and misinterpretation.
In addition to causing myiasis in humans, Megaselia spiracularis Schmitz has also been reported as a forensically important fly. In this study, we presented the morphology of all larval instars and puparium of M. spiracularis using scanning electron microscopy. The first instar larva was composed of 12 segments. Antennae and maxillary palp complex were visible. Two spiracular slits could be seen at the posterior spiracle. The branch of posterior spiracular hairs was approximately equal to the palm-formed base in length. Second and third larval instars were very similar to first instar, except for the presence of anterior spiracle. The labium of the second instar larva was triangular and ventrally curved, whereas it was a bilobed structure and the tip forked in the first instar. The bubble membrance comprised of ≈40 globules presented at the third instar larvae. Puparia showed a retracted cephalic region and a pair of pupal respiratory horns on the dorsum. A comparison of the morphological features between immature stages of M. spiracularis and M. scalaris, a forensically important fly indoors in Germany, Malaysia, and China, was discussed.
Long columns of migrating larval sciarid armyworms were discovered in central and northern Japan, specifically Kanagawa, Gunma, Miyagi and Akita prefectures, as well as Hokkaido. This is the first examination of armyworms in East Asia. In Europe, armyworms have been identified as Sciara militaris, belonging to the family Sciaridae (sciarid flies or black fungus gnats), by rearing them to adulthood. In Japan, we were unable to obtain live samples for rearing; therefore, DNA barcodes were obtained from the samples of armyworms collected in the Gunma and Miyagi prefectures. The DNA barcodes were compared with those obtained from the following samples: pupae of S. militaris from UK, adults of Sciara kitakamiensis, Sciara humeralis, Sciara hemerobioides, Sciara thoracica, Sciara helvola and Sciara melanostyla from Japan, and adults of one undescribed Sciara species from Malaysia. Neighbour-joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood analyses revealed that the armyworms discovered in Japan are S. kitakamiensis. Although adults of this species have been recorded in several locations in Japan, this is the first report of migrating larval armyworms. DNA barcodes were effectively used to link different life stages of this species. The average intraspecific and interspecific pairwise genetic distances of the genus Sciara were 0.3% and 12.6%, respectively. The present study illustrates that DNA barcodes are an effective means of identifying sciarid flies in Japan.
The stages of decomposition and the faunal succession on rabbit carcasses in three different habitats, namely jungle, rural, and highland areas, were studied. Three New Zealand White rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) carcasses weighing ∼2 kg were sampled daily until the decomposition process was completed. Representative specimens of adult flies, larvae, pupa, and mites were collected from the carcasses and processed in the laboratory. There were differences in decomposition rate and faunal succession between the carcasses. The fastest rate of decomposition was recorded in rural area, and the slowest rate of decomposition was recorded in highland area. The carcasses exhibited the same pattern of colonization by adult flies, but the dominant species of larvae and adult flies on each carcass in specific habitats were different. The primary species of flies recorded in jungle were Chrysomya megacephala F., Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart), Chrysomya chani Kurahashi, Chrysomya villenuevi Patton, Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, Chrysomya pinguis (Walker), Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann), Hemipyrellia tagaliana (Bigot), Hypopyiopsis fumipennis (Walker), Hypopygiopsis violacea (Macquart), and Hydrotaea spinigera Stein represented by both adults and larvae. Musca domestica L., Atherigona sp., Lioproctia pattoni (Senior-White), Lioproctia saprianovae Pape & Bänziger, and Seniorwhitea princeps (Wiedemann) were represented by adults only. The biodiversity of flies in the rural area were C. megacephala, C. rufifacies, H. ligurriens, Fannia canicularis L., Hydrotaea chalcogaster (Wiedemann), and Hyd. spinigera represented by both adults and larvae, meanwhile M. domestica, Atherigona sp., Boettcherisca peregrina (Robineau-Desvoidy), Parasarcophaga taenionota Wiedemann, Parasarcophaga scopariiformis Senior-White, and S. princeps were represented by adults only. The species of flies collected in the highland area were Lucilia porphyrina (Walker), C. megacephala, C. rufifacies, C. villenuevi, C. pinguis, H. ligurriens, Hyd. spinigera, Hyd. chalcogaster, F. canicularis, and Boettcherisca highlandica Kurahashi & Tan represented by both adults and larvae, whereas C. nigripes, Chrysomya thanomthini Kurahashi & Tumrasvin, M. domestica, Atherigona sp., Parasarcophaga albiceps Meigen, P. taenionota, Sepsidae, Phoridae, and Millichidae were represented by adults only. Faunal succession followed the sequence of dominant flies, i.e., Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae, Sepsidae, and lastly Stratiomyidae for jungle, or Sepsidae for rural and highland studies. Mites, from suborders Mesostigmata, Prostigmata, Astigmatina, and Oribatida, were also recovered throughout decomposition, which could be used for future implementation in forensic investigations. The data obtained from this study could provide more accurate indicators for local forensic scientists in solving criminal cases especially on the determination of time and primary location of death.
A body of an unknown adult female was found within a shallow burial ground in Malaysia whereas the skull was exposed and visible on the ground. During autopsy examination, nine insect larvae were recovered from the interior of the human skull and subsequently preserved in 70% ethanol. The larvae were greyish in appearance, each with a posterior elongated breathing tube. A week after the autopsy, more larvae were collected at the burial site, and some of them were reared into adults. Adult specimens and larvae from the skull and from the burial site were sequenced to obtain DNA barcodes. Results showed all adult flies reared from the burial site, as well as the larvae collected from the skull were identified as Eristalinus arvorum (Fabricius, 1787) (Diptera: Syrphidae). Here, we report the colonization of E. arvorum larvae on a human corpse for the first time.
Traditionally it was thought that fitness-related traits such as male mating frequency, with a history of strong directional selection, should have little additive genetic variance and thus respond asymmetrically to bidirectional artificial selection. However, recent findings and theory suggest that a balance between selection for increased male mating frequency and opposing selection pressures on physiologically linked traits will cause male mating frequency to have high additive genetic variation and hence respond symmetrically to selection. We tested these hypotheses in the stalk-eyed fly, Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni, in which males hold harems comprising many females and so have the opportunity to mate at extremely high frequencies. We subjected male stalk-eyed flies to artificial selection for increased ('high') and decreased ('low') mating frequency in the presence of ecologically realistic, high numbers of females. High line males mated significantly more often than control or low line males. The direct response to selection was approximately symmetric in the high and low lines, revealing high additive genetic variation for, and no significant genetic constraints on, increased male mating frequency in C. dalmanni. In order to investigate trade-offs that might constrain male mating frequency under natural conditions we examined correlated responses to artificial selection. We measured accessory gland length, testis length and eyespan after 7 and 14 generations of selection. High line males had significantly larger accessory glands than low line males. No consistent correlated responses to selection were found in testis length or eyespan. Our results suggest that costs associated with the production and maintenance of large accessory glands, although yet to be identified, are likely to be a major constraint on mating frequency in natural populations of C. dalmanni.
The study on biodiversity of forensically important Diptera in the tropical rain forest in Malaysia is scarce. Thus, a preliminary survey was conducted at a jungle fringe near Kampung Bahagia Bukit Lagong, Sungai Buloh, Selangor. A rat carcass was offered to attract carrion flies and we collected an adult female calliphorid, Hypopygiopsis fumipennis (Walker, 1856) during the fresh stage of carcass decomposition. The female fly was allowed to oviposit on chicken liver in a container and the resulting larvae were reared to the adult stage. Along the developmental process, several individuals from each instar were collected and preserved in 70% ethanol and then processed on the slides. We recorded the duration of development for each instar and described its larval features for the first time. The third instar larvae of H. fumipennis showed accessory oral sclerite present, anterior spiracle with 13-15 papillae, intersegmental spines mostly unicuspid with pointed end, and posterior spiracles heavily sclerotized with inter-slit projections. Some larval differences between H. fumipennis and Hypopygiopsis violacea were noted.
Preservation of larvae retrieved from cadavers is important in ensuring the quality and integrity of entomological specimens used for the estimation of post-mortem interval (PMI). The process of killing and preserving larvae could distort the larvae leading to inaccurate estimation of PMI. In this study, the effects of killing Chrysomya megacephala larvae with hot water at different temperatures and subsequent maintenance in various preservatives were determined. Larvae not killed by hot water but preserved directly were used as control. The types of preservative used were 10% formalin, 70% ethanol and Kahle's solution. The morphological features examined were length, turgidity, curvature and coloration of larvae. Larvae killed in 80ºC hot water have shorter mean length (12.47 ± 2.86 mm) compared to those in 60ºC hot water (12.95 ± 2.69 mm). Increasing the duration of preservation in all types of preservative caused elongations of larvae treated or untreated with hot water. There were no significant changes in larval turgidity preserved in Kahle's solution compared to other two preservatives and were unaffected by the duration of storage. Larvae preserved in Kahle's solution experienced the least changes in coloration and shape compared to other preserved larvae in 70% ethanol or 10% formalin. Larvae directly immersed alive in 70% ethanol experienced the most changes in curvature, coloration and turgidity. This study suggested that killing larvae with hot water at 80ºC and preservation in Kahle's solution is the optimum method resulting in least changes in morphological features of Ch. megacephala larvae.
The distributions of flies are not only confined to ground level but can also be at higher altitudes. Here, we report three forensic cases involving dipterans in high-rise buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Case 1 involved a corpse of adult female found at the top floor of a fifteen-story apartment. Case 2 dealt with a body of a 75-year-old female discovered in a bedroom on the eleventh floor of an eighteen-story building, while Case 3 was a 52-year-old male found in his fifth floor shop house. Interestingly, entomological analysis revealed that all corpses were infested with similar Dipterans: Megaselia scalaris (Loew) (Diptera: Phoridae), Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp) (Diptera: Muscidae) and sarcophagid (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). The first two species were commonly associated with corpses found indoors at ground level. We noted the additional occurrence of blowflies Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart (Diptera: Calliphoridae) larvae in Case 2 and Case 3, respectively. Findings from this study are significant as they demonstrate that certain groups of fly can locate dead bodies even in high-rise buildings. Forensic entomofauna research on corpses found at high elevation is scarce and our study has highlighted the peculiarity of the fly species involved in Malaysia.
DNA identification of blow fly species can be a very useful tool in forensic entomology. One of the potential benefits that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has offered in the field of forensic entomology is species determination. Conventional identification methods have limitations for sibling and closely related species of blow fly and stage and quality of the specimen used. This could be overcome by DNA-based identification methods using mitochondrial DNA which does not demand intact or undamaged specimens. Mitochondrial DNA is usually isolated from whole blow fly and legs. Alternate sources for mitochondrial DNA isolation namely, egg, larva, puparium and empty puparium were explored in this study. The sequence of DNA obtained for each sample for every life cycle stage was 100% identical for a particular species, indicating that the egg, 1st instar, 2nd instar, 3rd instar, pupa, empty puparium and adult from the same species and obtained from same generation will exhibit similar DNA sequences. The present study also highlighted the usefulness of collecting all life cycle stages of blow fly during crime scene investigation with proper preservation and subsequent molecular analysis. Molecular identification provides a strong basis for species identification and will prove an invaluable contribution to forensic entomology as an investigative tool in Malaysia.
In Malaysia, maggot debridement therapy (MDT) utilizes maggots of Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann) to debride necrotic tissue from wound surface, reduce bacterial infection and therefore, enhance wound healing process. To evaluate the sterility of the sterile maggots produced after sterilization process before delivering onto patient wounds. Sterility of sterile maggots is crucial in ensuring the safe usage of MDT and patient's health. Eggs of L. cuprina collected from a laboratory colony were divided into treated group (sterilized) and control group (non-sterilized). Treated group underwent sterilization while eggs from control group were allowed to hatch without sterilization. Sodium hypochlorite and formaldehyde were the main disinfectants used in this sterilization process. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to examine and ascertain the sterility of sterile maggots. SEM results showed that all sterilized L. cuprina eggs and maggots achieved sterility and all were cleared from bacterial contamination. In contrast, all non-sterilized eggs and maggots were found to be colonized by microorganisms. Sterilization method employed to sterilize eggs and maggots used in Malaysia MDT was proven successful and MDT is safe to be used as wound management tools.
This study was carried out in an oil palm plantation in Bandar Baharu, Kedah using monkey carcasses and focuses in documenting the decomposition and dipteran colonization sequences in 50 days. This is the first study of Diptera associated with the exploitation of carcasses conducted in the north of peninsular Malaysia during the dry and wet seasons thereat. During the process of decomposition in both seasons, five phases of decay were recognized namely fresh, bloated, active decay, advance decay and dry remain. In this decomposition study, biomass loss of carcass occurred rapidly during the fresh to active decay stage due to the colonization and feeding activity of the Diptera larvae. The duration of the fresh and bloated stages of decay were the same in wet and dry seasons but later stages of decay were markedly shorter during the wet season. Twenty one species of adult Diptera were identified colonizing carcasses in the study period. Among the flies from the family Calliphoridae, Chrysomya megacephala Fabricius and Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin were recognized as the earliest arrivals on the first day of exposure. Adult Ch. nigripes was abundant for approximately two weeks after placement of the carcasses. By comparing the percentages of adults collected during the study period, the calliphorids abundance in percentages in wet season was 50.83%, but in dry season, the abundance was only about 35.2%. In contrast, the percentage of Sphaeroceridae in wet season was only 3.33%, but in the dry season, the abundance was 20.8%. Dipteran in family Phoridae, Piophilidae, Sepsidae, Drosophilidae and Dolichopodidae colonized the carcasses for a long period of time and were categorized as long term colonizers.
This preliminary study was carried out in a palm oil plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor in 17 May 2007 by using pig (Sus scrofa) as a carcass model in forensic entomological research. A 3 month old pig (8.5 kg) that died of pneumonio was placed in the field to observe the decomposition stages and the fauna succession of forensically important flies. Observation was made for two weeks; two visits per day and all climatological data were recorded. The first visitor to the pig carcass was a muscid fly, seen within a minute, and followed by ants and spiders. Within half an hour, calliphorid flies came over. On the second day (fresh), few calliphorid and sarcophagid flies were found on the carcass. Two different species of moths were trapped in the hanging net. The first larva mass occurred on the third day (bloated) around the mouthpart, with some L1 and L2 found in the eyes. Reduvid bugs and Staphylinidae beetles were recovered on the fourth day (active decay), and new maggot masses occurred in the eyes and anus. L3 larvae could be found beneath the pig carcass on the fourth day. On the fifth day (active decay), new maggot masses were found on neck, thorax, and hind legs. Advance decay occurred on the sixth day with abundant maggots covering all over the body. The main adult fly population was Chrysomya megacephala (day 2 to day 6), but the larvae population was mainly those of Chrysomya rufifacies (day 4 to day 14). The dry stage began on the eighth day. Hermetia illucens adult was caught on day-13, and a larvae mass of Chrysomya rufifacies was seen burrowing under the soil. This forensic entomological research using pig carcass model was the first record in this country.
This study was conducted to examine the effect of malathion on the development of Chrysomya megacephala. A total of 12 adult Sprague-Dawley rats was divided into 4 groups. Each animal in the 4 groups was given orally 0 (control), 10, 25 and 50ml/kg body weight of malathion, respectively. Chrysomya megacephala larvae were then allowed to grow on the liver of carcass. Larvae development was estimated by means of weight and length, time of adult emergence and survival rate. Results indicated that for the first 6 to 30 hours, larvae from control group developed more rapidly than larvae feeding on tissue containing malathion. However, the 3 doses of malathion did not exhibit significant impact on larvae length and weight. The time required for adult emergence was significantly greater for malathion-treated colony which was 10 days compared to 7 days in control colony. Control larvae of C. megacephala had higher survival rate compared to larvae exposed to the three different doses of malathion. Analysis of the tissues indicated that all rats and fly samples were positive for malathion. Malathion concentration was highest in liver. It was concluded that the presence of malathion altered the development rate of C. megacephala and thus disrupted normal postmortem interval estimation.
Matched MeSH terms: Diptera/drug effects*; Diptera/growth & development