A key to the common Calliphorid flies of Peninsular Malaysia is presented. Illustrations of the genitalia of some rare species, list of new localities, altitudes and other ecological data are also presented. The following species were recorded for the first time from Peninsular Malaysia; Catapicephala sinica, C. kurahashii, Taninanina javanica, Hemipyrellia tagaliana, Lucilia sinensis, Blaesoxipha kasterni, Boettcherisca javanica, Parasarcophaga misera, P. orchidea, P. albicephs, Sarcosolomonia crinita, Thyrsocnema bornensis, Sarcorohdendorfia antilope and Lioproctia pattoni.
Isomyia paurogonita Fang & Fan, 1986 (Diptera: Calliphoridae), a rare species of the subfamily Rhiniinae (tribe Cosminini) was recorded for the first time in Malaysia. We collected one male and two females during a field trip conducted at Genting Highland, Pahang, peninsular Malaysia in May 2011. A 3-day old cow liver was offered as attractant and dipterans collected were transferred to the laboratory for specimens processing and identification. The adults of I. paurogonita were attracted to the odour and then captured by using a sweep net. Isomyia paurogonita was also recorded from two other localities in Peninsular and Malaysian Borneo, namely Gombak Utara, Selangor and Sibu, Sarawak.
Iranihindia martellata (Senior-White, 1924) is recorded from peninsular Malaysia for the first time. Male and female specimens in the recent collections of forensically important sarcophagid flies were examined and identified based on morphology and DNA sequencing analysis. Male genitalia offer unambiguous species identification characteristics in the traditional taxonomy of flesh flies but the female flies are very similar to one another in general morphology. Female of I. martellata was determined by DNA sequencing (COI and COII) and PCR-RFLP (COI) analysis. Identified females were carefully examined and compared with the morphologically similar species, Liopygia ruficornis (Fabricius, 1794). Female genitalia are re-described and illustrated in this paper.
A forensic entomological study conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on 3 August 2007 revealed that a housefly, Musca domestica Linnaeus oviposited its eggs on a freshly dead pig. This finding indicated that housefly might play an important role in forensic investigation in determining post-mortem interval (PMI), although it was not yet found in human corpses or any animal carrion. This preliminary paper presented a first record of Musca domestica eggs found on animal carcass in the country.
Lispe orientalis Wiedemann, 1824 is recorded for the first time in peninsular Malaysia. Specimens were collected from a mushroom cultivation farm in Genting Highlands, Pahang (3°25'18"N 101°47'48"E). Previously, this species had been recorded from Azerbaijin, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and South Korea. The male of Lispe orientalis can be determined by the following characteristics: body non-metallic, ashy gray, third antennal segment black, R5 cell not narrow apically, hind metatarsus normal, legs entirely black, femora with long bristle-like hairs on av and pv surfaces, hind tibia without av and pv seta and the palpi orangish in colour.
Insect larvae and adult insects found on human corpses provide important clues for the estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI). Among all necrophagous insects, flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) are considered as carrion flies of forensic importance. DNA variations of 17 Malaysian, two Indonesian and one Japanese flesh fly species are analysed using the mitochondrial COI and COII. These two DNA regions were useful for identifying most species experimented. However, characterisation of the species was not sufficiently made in the case of Sarcophaga javanica. Seventeen Malaysian species of forensic importance were successfully clustered into distinct clades and grouped into the six species groups: peregrina, albiceps, dux, pattoni, princeps and ruficornis. These groups correspond with generic or subgeneric taxa of the subfamily Sarcophaginae: Boettcherisca, Parasarcophaga, Liosarcophaga, Sarcorohdendorfia-Lioproctia, Harpagophalla-Seniorwhitea and Liopygia. The genetic variations found in COI and COII can be applied not only to identify the species of forensic importance, but also to understand the taxonomic positions, generic or subgeneric status, of the sarcophagine species.
During a forensic entomological study conducted at an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Kuala Langat, Selangor, a Bengalia emarginata Malloch, 1927 (Diptera: Calliphoridae: Calliphorinae: Bengalini) was collected for the first time. Two adults were collected nearby the pig carcass by the first author and identified by the second. Prior to this finding, nine species of Bengalia were recorded from peninsular Malaysia or Borneo. Male of B. emarginata are different from Bengalia varicolor Fabricious by the following characters: Sternite 5 projection rounded with small identation and mid tibia double-fringed in ventral surface.
Insects found associated with corpse can be used as one of the indicators in estimating postmortem interval (PMI). The objective of this study was to compare the stages of decomposition and faunal succession between a partially burnt pig (Sus scrofa Linnaeus) and natural pig (as control). The burning simulated a real crime whereby the victim was burnt by murderer. Two young pigs weighed approximately 10 kg were used in this study. Both pigs died from pneumonia and immediately placed in an oil palm plantation near a pig farm in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia. One pig was partially burnt by 1-liter petrol while the other served as control. Both carcasses were visited twice per day for the first week and once thereafter. Adult flies and larvae on the carcasses were collected and later processed in a forensic entomology laboratory. Results showed that there was no significant difference between the rate of decomposition and sequence of faunal succession on both pig carcasses. Both carcasses were completely decomposed to remain stage after nine days. The species of flies visiting the pig carcasses consisted of blow flies (Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya rufifacies, Hemipyrellia ligurriens), flesh fly (Sarcophagidae.), muscid fly (Ophyra spinigera), soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), coffin fly (Phoridae) and scavenger fly (Sepsidae). The only difference noted was in the number of adult flies, whereby more flies were seen in the control carcass. Faunal succession on both pig carcasses was in the following sequence: Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae, Phoridae and lastly Stratiomyidae. However, there was overlap in the appearance of members of these families. Blowflies continued to oviposit on both carcasses. Hence postmortem interval (PMI) can still be estimated from the partially burnt pig carcass.
Fannia prisca Stein, 1918 is newly recorded from peninsular Malaysia. This record is based on 4 male specimens from Mount Berembun, Brinchang, Cameron Highland, Pahang state, peninsular Malaysia. It is previously recorded from China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Bonin Island, Thailand and oriental region. The male of Fannia prisca can be differentiated from male Fannia scalaris by the following features: for F. prisca, mid-coxa without spine; mid-tibia normal or without stout triangular ventral projection; and hind tibia usually with 2 av, while F. scalaris has several stout hook-like spines on the anterior margin; mid-tibia with stout triangular ventral projection and hind tibia usually with 3 av. Both F. prisca and F. scalaris can be differentiated from Fannia leucosticta by looking at its hind tibia, which only has 1 av.
The mitochondiral DNA region encompassing the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) genes of two Malaysian blow fly species, Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) and Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) were studied. This region, which spans 2303bp and includes the COI, tRNA leucine and partial COII was sequenced from adult fly and larval specimens, and compared. Intraspecific variations were observed at 0.26% for Ch. megacephala and 0.17% for Ch. rufifacies, while sequence divergence between the two species was recorded at a minimum of 141 out of 2303 sites (6.12%). Results obtained in this study are comparable to published data, and thus support the use of DNA sequence to facilitate and complement morphology-based species identification.
Fannia pusio (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Fanniidae) is newly recorded from Malaysia. This record is based on 1male symbol 1female symbol from Sarawak, east Malaysia and 1male symbol 2female symbol from Selangor, peninsular Malaysia. It is included in the pusio group of Fannia wherein are included Fannia femoralis (Stein), Fannia howardi Malloch, Fannia trimaculata (Stein), Fannia leucosticta (Meigen) and Fannia punctiventris Malloch. The male of Fannia pusio is differentiated from other members of the group by the following features: hind femur with a swelling bearing a number of setae that are usually curled at tip; squamae creamy; tergite 1+2 broadly grey dusted at sides.
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.
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.
Myospila pudica pudica (Stein, 1915) (Diptera: Muscidae) was recorded for the first time in Malaysia during a forensic entomological study conducted at a forested area of Forensic Science Simulation Site, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor. This species can be differentiated from other species of its genus by having R1 setulose on dorsal surface and R4+5 more or less setulose dorsally and ventrally. The legs, including tarsi, are testaceous yellow and palpi blackish. Lateral and ventral surface of scutellum bare below the level of bristles and the third antennal segment is brownish yellow. Other features including the diverging of inner margin of lower squama from scutellum margin. This is also the first report on the occurence of M. pudica pudica (Stein, 1915) on animal carcass.