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.
Two performance (efficacy and attractiveness) comparisons of neonicotinoid baits QuickBayt® (imidacloprid) and Agita® (thiamethoxam) against filth flies were conducted under field conditions to determine suitability for use outdoors. The first experiment compared bait performance and the second compared effects of different applications on QuickBayt® performance. Applications compared were: (i) scattered in petri dish (SPD); (ii) wet-down in petri dish (WPD); (iii) scattered on cardboard (SCB) and (iv) painted on cardboards (PCB). Efficacy and attractiveness were assessed based on knockdown percentage (KD%) and number of flies feeding on baits, respectively. The KD% of QuickBayt® (34% ± 3.0%) was not significantly higher than Agita® (29% ± 1.3%) (t-test, P>0.05). Agita® (101 ± 5.7 flies) was significantly more attractive to flies than QuickBayt® (76 ± 4.8 flies) and the sugar solution (49 ± 7.2) (one-way ANOVA, P<0.05). The PCB and SCB applications were significantly more attractive to filth flies than WPD and SPD (One-way ANOVA, P<0.05), however differences in KD% were not significantly different (One-way ANOVA, P>0.05). The two baits provided the same level of efficacy in a wide-open area against filth flies of various species. QuickBayt® was more versatile; efficacy was not significantly affected by different applications. Surface area and moisture affects attractiveness of the bait.
Using the cow-baited trap (CBT) method, 1,845 Anopheles mosquitos, comprising 14 species, were caught in malaria-endemic area of Hulu Perak district, Peninsular Malaysia. The two dominant species were An. barbirostris (18.59%) and An. aconitus (18.86%). Anopheles maculatus, the main malaria vector, constituted 9.11% of the total number of mosquitos sampled. Three hundred and seventy-seven Anopheles larvae, comprising 8 species, were sampled using the North Carolina Biological Station dipper. Anopheles barbirostris larvae amounted to 64.69% of the total number of larvae; An. aconitus accounted for 10.65% of larvae. Seven habitats were identified as breeding places of Anopheles. Most species were found to breed in paddies, fishponds, and rivers. Other less popular habitats were temporary pools, mountain streams, and spring wells.
A prospective observational study was carried out at the Emergency Department, Hospital Kuala Lumpur to determine the proportion of accidental head injury among children and the circumstances of injury. The study was carried out from November 1993 to January 1994 on all children below 14 years who presented to the Emergency Department with accidental head injury. Accidental head injury made up (4.75%) of all cases seen at the Casualty Department. The ratio of boys to girls was 2:1. The mean age of head injured children was 5.2 (S.D. 3.63) years. The leading cause of head injury was fall (63%) followed by road traffic accidents (RTA) in (30.7%) while the rest were due to 'impact' (injury caused by flying object or missiles) injuries. More than half (54.4%) of those injured in RTA were pedestrians. Pedestrian injury was particularly important in the 5-< 14 years age group, where adult supervision was lacking in two thirds of the children. None of the patients who were involved in vehicle-related injuries had used a suitable protective or restraining device. All three patients who died were from this group. This study emphasises the need for stricter enforcement of laws related to the use of protective devices and measures to decrease child pedestrian injury. The issues of lack of adult supervision, both in and outside the home need to be addressed.
A study on the distribution of malaria in Hulu Perak district, Peninsular Malaysia was carried out between January and December 1993. The study encompassed the distribution of malaria cases according to sex, age and profession. A total of 332 cases were recorded, with 182 cases occurring in males. The highest infection was observed in the above 15 years old age group. Forest workers (loggers, rattan collectors and forest product gatherers) were the group most exposed to the disease (32.8%), followed by both plantantion workers (32.2%) and aboriginal communities (32.2%). Army and police personnels (2.1%) were also infected. Plasmodium falciparum was the most common species of malaria in the area.
Three species composition surveys were conducted in a rural location in Kedah and an urban location in Pulau Pinang. Two of the surveys were conducted in November 2003, the first was at the Kedah site and the second was at the Pulau Pinang site. The third survey was conducted at the Pulau Pinang site again on the last week of April 2004. All these surveys were conducted one week prior to field evaluations of commercial chemical fly baits. The predominant species recovered from the surveys was the house fly, Musca domestica, which ranked first in prevalence in all three studies. Catches of Musca sorbens, Chrysoma megacephala and Lucillia cuprina were lower than M. domestica. Sarcophaga sp. was not present at the Kedah site and was only present at the Pulau Pinang site during the survey in April 2004. The other fly species present at the Kedah site were Megaselia sp., Psycoda sp., Piophila sp. and Fannia sp. These species were scarce and never exceeded 1% of the total catch.
The efficacy and residual efficacy of commercial baits, Quick Bayt (0.5% w/w imidacloprid) and Agita (10.0% w/w thiamethoxam) against synanthropic flies were evaluated under field conditions. Efficacy was evaluated based on knockdown percentage (KD %). The bait efficacy and residual efficacy evaluation were conducted for a period of 3 weeks and 6 weeks respectively. Baits were applied onto bait targets and placed on fly-count targets to facilitate the counting of flies. All baits were applied according to the manufacturer's recommended application rate. Three replicate treatments for each type of bait were placed at the study site each week. The number of flies feeding on baits and the knocked down flies were counted and collected. The efficacy of Agita and Quick Bayt did not differ significantly (t-test, P>0.05) over the 3-week period, even though Quick Bayt had a slightly higher KD% than Agita. In the residual efficacy evaluation, the (knockdown) KD% of Quick Bayt was consistent at around 36% for the first five weeks but dropped to 33.8 +/- 0.4% on the sixth week. The KD% for Agita on the first week was 33.6 +/- 12.2% and remained relatively consistent for the first 4 weeks at around 31%. KD% dropped to 16.7 +/- 3.3% on week 5 and to 15.7 +/- 1.2% on week 6. The difference in residual efficacy of the two baits was significant (t-test, p < 0.05).
Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus activity is an important cause of viral encephalitis in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, JEV activity has been first detected in Culex gelidus in 1976. Since then, no study has fully addressed the seasonal dynamics of this mosquito. As irrigated rice production expands, the incidence of JEV vectors, particularly Cx. gelidus is expected to increase. We surveyed Penang Island to determine the breeding patterns of Cx. gelidus and their potential insect predators, in relation to habitat/niche and rice growing period. Six rice fields proper (RFP) and related drainage canals (DC) were visited through three cultivation cycles (CCs) over 17 months. Weekly visits were performed to each of the 36 sites and mosquito larvae and aquatic insects were sampled from RFP and DCs using dippers. Culex gelidus was abundant in RFP and almost absent in DCs. Its densities usually were high during the first and 3rd CC and when the RFs were in Fp, Pp and Gp. In DCs, the mosquito was abundant during Mp, e.g., 2nd CC. Predators, especially those belonging to the families Corixidae, Coenagrionidae and Dytiscidae, were more present in RFP. Predator numbers usually were high during the first CC; in some cases predator abundance peaked during other CCs, e.g., corixids and dysticids. In RFP, neither corixids nor coenagrionids showed any positive correlation with densities of Cx. gelidus. However, dytiscids' population peaked when the mosquito densities were on the rise. These observations suggest that Cx. gelidus is active during the period of rice cultivation. Operational vector control through bio-control or with insecticides near the end of the rice cultivation season in RFP may prove beneficial in reducing the density of Cx. gelidus, but also the amount of bio-agent or insecticide applied on riceland.
The pupae of Desmometopa sp. (Diptera: Milichiidae) were collected from a human corpse found indoor in active decay stage together with the larvae of Sarcophagidae, Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) and Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart). This research note is the first report of the Desmometopa sp. recovered from a human corpse in Malaysia.
A field study on foraging activity and proteinacous food preference was performed on the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata) (Fabricius) at the School of Biological Sciences and Desasiswa Bakti Permai, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang. Foraging activity studies of 4 colonies of S. geminata were conducted in the field for 24 hours. Foraging activity significantly increased 4 hours before sunset and maximum foraging occurred at midnight until early morning. Three types of proteinacous food; anchovy, meat and egg yolk were tested among the five colonies of S. geminata in the field. The egg yolk was the most preferred food (100%) followed by meat (31%) and anchovy (15%).
Blood from most of the residents of a remote village in northern peninsular Malaysia, bordering Thailand, was examined for malaria parasites monthly for 1 year. Plasmodium vivax was the commonest infection, but P. falciparum and mixed infections also occurred. Monthly collections of the malaria vector, Anopheles maculatus showed a positive correlation between mosquito densities and malaria positivity in the human population and a negative correlation with rainfall.
Twelve species of Anopheles were collected by using cow-baited net trap in a malarial endemic village in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Anopheles maculatus which is the main malaria vector with its densities were related to drought. An. aconitus, An. kochi and An. philippinensis were less susceptible to P. falciparum and P. vivax infection, and are not considered important in falciparum or vivax malaria transmission. Biting activities of An. kochi and An. vagus were primarily active after dusk and steadily declined after midnight. An. maculatus and An. aconitus showed biting activities throughout the night but An. maculatus showed two peaks of biting activity in the first half of the night.
A semi laboratory experiment using 3 cohorts of Aedes albopictus adults was performed to obtain age-specific mortality and fecundity information and to derive statistical estimates of some population growth parameters. Life expectancy was calculated for both males and females. The following population parameters were estimated: intrinsic rate of increase (rm= 0.21), net reproductive (replacement) rate (Ro= 68.70), age at mean cohort reproduction (To=10.55 days), birth rate (B=0.23), death rate (D=0.02) and generation time (G=20.14 days). The high rm/B (0.91) and B/D (11.50) ratios indicated the high colonizing ability of Ae. albopictus in nature.
Larvae of the Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp) were collected from a decomposed human corpse at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Penang Hospital. A colony of this species was established and the eggs were collected for rearing. The developmental times, rearing temperatures, and relative humidity were recorded twice daily from the time the eggs collected until adult emergence. An average of 5 larvae were randomly collected from the rearings twice daily, warm-water killed and preserved in Kahle's solution. The larval instar stages were determined by observing the number of posterior spiracular slits and the length of the preserved larvae were measured. When the larval life cycle was completed, the accumulated developmental times were calculated. A total of 8 replicates were carried out. The temperature of the rearing room was 28.5+/-1.5 degrees Celcius while the relative humidity was within 67-85%. The total developmental time for S. nudiseta was 322+/-19 hours (13.4+/-0.8 days).
A human corpse at an advanced stage of decomposition was found in a house in the residential area of Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia. Entomological specimens were collected during the post-mortem and the live specimens were subsequently reared at room temperature. The time of death was estimated to have been 14 days previous to the discovery of the body based on the police investigation. Both adult and larvae of the beetle Dermestes ater (De Geer) were found to be infesting the corpse and from the stage of decomposition of the body and the estimated time of death it would appear that infestation may have begun at a relatively early stage of decomposition.
A burned human remain was found outdoor (5º 27' N, 100º 16' E) in Penang Island. The deceased was last seen alive on 23 April 2010 at 2230 h and was found burned on 24 April 2010 at 1920 h. Larval aggregation of second instar Chrysomya megacephala was observed on the chest of the deceased.
The life history of the male and female of the indoor forensic fly, Synthesiomyia nudiseta was studied under fluctuating temperature of indoor environments and analysed based on the age-stage and two sex life table. The life cycle of S. nudiseta was 14.0±1.0 days from the egg stage to adult emergence. The population parameters calculated were; net reproduction rate (R(o)= 108.6), mean generation time (T(o)= 12.2), intrinsic rate of increase (r(m)= 0.38), and finite rate of increase (λ= 1.46). The pre-oviposition period (APOP) was 6.0± 0.1 days. All population parameters suggested that S. nudiseta exhibits the r-strategist characteristics.
Larvae of Aedes albopictus Skuse typically inhabit natural and artificial containers. Since these larval habitats are replenished by rainfall, Ae. albopictus may experience increased loss of immature stages in areas with high levels of rainfall. In this study, we investigated the effects of rainfall and container water level on population density, and oviposition activity of Ae. albopictus. In field and laboratory experiments, we found that rainfall resulted in the flushing of breeding habitats. Excess rain negatively impacted larval and pupal retention, especially in small habitats. When filled with water to overflowing, container habitats were significantly repellent to ovipositing females. Taken together, these data suggest that rainfall triggers population loss of Ae. albopictus and related species through a direct detrimental effect (flushing out) and an indirect effect (ovipositional repellency).
Using cow-baited net traps in the coastal and hilly areas of northern peninsular Malaysia, 21 species of Anopheles mosquitoes were found. The distribution of common Anopheles is presented. The composition of the anopheline mosquito fauna was more diversified in the coastal areas than in the hilly areas. The displacement of Anopheles sundaicus by Anopheles subpictus and the disappearance of Anopheles hackeri in the coastal area were noted.