This study reported the ant species that were recovered from monkey carcasses in three different ecological habitats in Malaysia. The study was conducted from 9 May - 10 October 2007, 6 May - 6 August 2008 and 26 May - 14 July 2009 in forested area (Gombak, Selangor), coastal area (Tanjong Sepat, Selangor) and highland area (Bukit Cincin, Pahang), respectively. Monkey carcass was used as a model for human decomposition in this study. A total of 4 replicates were used in each of the study sites. Ants were observed to prey on eggs, larvae, pupae and newly emerged flies. This study found that ant species could be found at all stages of decomposition, indicating that ants were not a significant indicator for faunal succession. However, different species of ants were obtained from monkey carcasses placed in different ecological habitats. Cardiocondyla sp. was only found on carcasses placed in the coastal area; while Pheidole longipes, Hypoponera sp. and Pachycondyla sp. were solely found on carcasses placed in the highland area. On the other hand, Pheidologeton diversus and Paratrechina longicornis were found in several ecological habitats. These data suggests that specific ant species can act as geographic indicators for different ecological habitats in forensic entomology cases in Malaysia.
A multilocus sequence analysis using mitochondria-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), cytochrome B (CytB), NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5); nuclear encoded 18S ribosomal RNA (18S) and 28S ribosomal RNA (28S) genes was performed to determine the levels of genetic variation between the closely related species Haematobia irritans Linnaeus and Haematobia exigua de Meijere. Among these five genes, ND5 and CytB genes were found to be more variable and informative in resolving the interspecific relationships of both species. In contrast, the COI gene was more valuable in inferring the intraspecific relationships. The ribosomal 18S and 28S sequences of H. irritans and H. exigua were highly conserved with limited intra- and inter-specific variation. Molecular evidence presented in this study demonstrated that both flies are genetically distinct and could be differentiated based on sequence analysis of mitochondrial genes.