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  1. Zuha RM, Omar B
    Parasitol Res, 2014 Jun;113(6):2285-94.
    PMID: 24728523 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-014-3883-z
    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.
  2. Zuha RM, Disney RHL
    Zootaxa, 2018 Nov 02;4508(4):551-561.
    PMID: 30485963 DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4508.4.3
    Megaselia bangiensis Disney sp. nov., M. cumpapillarum Disney sp. nov., M. hyplongiseta Disney sp. nov. and M. selangorensis Disney sp. nov. were collected from rabbit carcasses placed in concealed environments in Bangi, Malaysia.
  3. Zuha RM, Supriyani M, Omar B
    Trop Biomed, 2008 Apr;25(1):17-22.
    PMID: 18600200
    Analysis on fly artifacts produced by forensically important blowfly, Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera:Calliphoridae), revealed several unique patterns. They can be divided into fecal spots, regurgitation spots and swiping stains. The characteristics of fecal spots are round with three distinct levels of pigmentation; creamy, brownish and darkly pigmented. Matrix of the spots appears cloudy. The round spots are symmetrical and non-symmetrical, delineated by irregular and darker perimeter which only visible in fairly colored fecal spots. Diameter of these artifacts ranged from 0.5 mm to 4 mm. Vomit or regurgitation spots are determined by the presence of craters due to sucking activity of blowflies and surrounded by thickly raised and darker colored perimeter. The size of these specks ranged from 1 mm to 2 mm. Matrix of the spots displays irregular surface and reflective under auxiliary microscope light. Swiping stains due to defecation by flies consists of two distinguishable segments, the body and tail. It can be seen as a tear drop-like, sperm-like, snake-like and irregular tadpole-like stain. The direction of body and tail is inconsistent and length ranged between 4.8 mm to 9.2 mm. A finding that should be highlighted in this observation is the presence of crater on tadpole-like swiping stain which is apparent by its raised border characteristic and reflective under auxiliary microscope light. The directionality of this darkly brown stain is random. This unique mix of regurgitation and swiping stain has never been reported before. Highlighting the features of artifacts produced by flies would hopefully add our understanding in differentiating them from blood spatters produced from victims at crime scenes.
  4. Zuha RM, See HW, Disney RH, Omar B
    Forensic Sci Int, 2014 Dec;245:e36-7.
    PMID: 25466156 DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.10.034
    Scuttle flies of genus Puliciphora Dahl (Diptera: Phoridae) are recorded for the first time in Malaysia from rabbit carcasses placed in concealed environments. They consist of Puliciphora borinquenensis Wheeler ♂♀, Puliciphora obtecta Meijere ♀ and Puliciphora beckeri Meijere ♀. All species were obtained from rabbit carcasses in used luggage and garbage bin placed at Forensic Science Simulation Site, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor. The specimens were collected from the carcasses using a modified Malaise trap, an entomological aspirator and preserved in 70% ethanol. This report expands the geographical distributions of these species and their microhabitat, suggests its possible important role in forensic entomology.
  5. Zuha RM, Razak TA, Ahmad NW, Omar B
    Parasitol Res, 2012 Nov;111(5):2179-87.
    PMID: 22886544 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-012-3070-z
    In forensic entomology, breeding of fly larvae in a controlled laboratory environment using animal tissue is a common technique to obtain insect developmental time for the estimation of postmortem interval. Previous studies on growth media are mostly on the effect of different diets on fly development. However, the interaction effects between temperature and food type used have not been explored. The objective of this study was to compare the use of cow's liver agar and raw liver on the development of a forensically important fly, Megaselia scalaris (Loew). This study also determined the interaction between different temperatures and different food types on the growth of this species. A total of 100 M. scalaris eggs were transferred into each of the two media mentioned above. Liver agar was prepared by adding dried ground liver into nutrient agar, whilst raw liver was naturally prepared from the same animal source. This experiment was conducted at 27, 30 and 33 °C in an incubator in a continuously dark condition. Length and weight of larvae, puparia and adult samples were determined. Total developmental times for larvae feeding on liver agar at each temperature were approximately 7-15 h slower than those feeding on raw liver. Survival rates were almost equal in both diets but were lower at 33 °C. Mean larva length in both diets did not differ significantly at all temperatures, but larvae feeding on liver agar had lower mean weight values than those in raw liver at 30 and 33 °C. The effect of temperature was significant in female puparia weight and male adult weight whereas the effect of diet types was significant in both male and female puparia size and weight. Interaction effects of temperature and food type on M. scalaris puparium size and adult weight were significant, indicating that puparium size and adult weight depended on both food type and temperature. This experiment highlighted the use of cow's liver agar as an alternative diet to breed M. scalaris in the laboratory and the importance of considering the interaction effect between temperatures and food types when deciding the most suitable medium in fly larva rearing.
  6. Zuha RM, Huong-Wen S, Disney RH, Omar B
    Trop Life Sci Res, 2017 Jan;28(1):131-143.
    PMID: 28228921 MyJurnal DOI: 10.21315/tlsr2017.28.1.9
    Scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) are small-sized insects of forensic importance. They are well known for diversified species and habitats, but in the context of forensic entomology, scuttle flies' inhabitance of corpses remains inadequately explored. With recent reports indicating the existence of more scuttle fly species possibly inhabiting these environments, a decomposition study using animal carcasses in enclosed environments was conducted. The aim was to record the occurrence of scuttle flies on rabbit carcasses placed in sealed plastic waste bins for a 40-day period. The study was conducted as two replicates in Bangi, Selangor. Sampling was carried out at different time intervals inside a modified mosquito net as a trap. Inside the trap, adult scuttle flies were aspirated and preserved in 70% ethanol. The fly larvae and pupae were reared until their adult stage to facilitate identification. From this study, six scuttle fly species were collected, i.e., Dahliphora sigmoides (Schmitz) ♂, Gymnoptera simplex (Brues) ♀, Megaselia scalaris (Loew) ♂♀, Puliciphora borinquenensis (Wheeler) ♂, Puliciphora obtecta Meijere ♀ and Spiniphora sp. ♀. Both D. sigmoides and P. obtecta were newly recorded in Malaysia, whilst the Spiniphora sp. was considered an unknown species until it was linked to its male counterpart. The sealed waste bins were found to be accessible for the scuttle flies with delayed arrival (day 4-5). Megaselia scalaris was the primary scuttle fly species attracted to the carcass, and its occurrence could be observed between days 4-7 (replicate 1) and days 5-33 (replicate 2). This study also revealed Sarcophaga spp. (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) as the earliest species to colonize the remains and the longest to inhabit them (days 2-40). The larvae of Hermetia illucens (Linneaus) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) and Fannia sp. (Diptera: Fanniidae) were found on the carcasses during the mid-advanced decay period. These findings expand the knowledge on the diversity of forensically important scuttle flies and coexisting dipterans in enclosed environments in Malaysia.
  7. Zuha RM, Jenarthanan LX, Disney RH, Omar B
    Trop Biomed, 2015 Sep;32(3):568-72.
    PMID: 26695221 MyJurnal
    In forensic entomology, larval rearing usually includes the presence of biological contaminants including scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae). Scuttle flies are recognized as forensically important insects and have been reported causing nuisance and contamination in laboratory environments. This paper reports for the first time the finding of multiple scuttle fly species affecting colonies of third instar larvae of the Oriental latrine blowfly, Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), reared indoors at the Forensic Science Simulation Site, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Adult scuttle flies were discovered inside a rearing container after the emergence of adult C. megacephala., The scuttle fly species are Megaselia scalaris (Loew), M. spiracularis Schmitz and Puliciphora borinquenensis (Wheeler). Notes on the life history and biology of these species are discussed herein.
  8. Rumiza AR, Khairul O, Zuha RM, Heo CC
    Trop Biomed, 2010 Dec;27(3):373-83.
    PMID: 21399577
    This study was designed to mimic homicide or suicide cases using gasoline. Six adult long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), weighing between 2.5 to 4.0 kg, were equally divided into control and test groups. The control group was sacrificed by a lethal dose of phenobarbital intracardiac while test group was force fed with two doses of gasoline LD50 (37.7 ml/kg) after sedation with phenobarbital. All carcasses were then placed in a decomposition site to observe the decomposition and invasion process of cadaveric fauna on the carcasses. A total of five decomposition stages were recognized during this study. This study was performed during July 2007. Fresh stage of control and test carcasses occurred between 0 to 15 and 0 to 39 hours of exposure, respectively. The subsequent decomposition stages also exhibited the similar pattern whereby the decomposition process of control carcasses were faster than tested one. The first larvae were found on control carcasses after 9 hours of death while the test group carcasses had only their first blowfly eggs after 15 hours of exposure. Blow flies, Achoetandrus rufifacies and Chrysomya megacephala were the most dominant invader of both carcasses throughout the decaying process. Diptera collected from control carcasses comprised of scuttle fly, Megaselia scalaris and flesh fly, sarcophagid. We concluded that the presence of gasoline and its odor on the carcass had delayed the arrival of insect to the carcasses, thereby slowing down the decomposition process in the carcass by 6 hours.
  9. Syamsa RA, Ahmad FM, Marwi MA, Zuha RM, Omar B
    Med J Malaysia, 2010 Sep;65(3):192-5.
    PMID: 21939166 MyJurnal
    This study reviews forensic entomological specimens analysed by the Department of Parasitology & Medical Entomology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for the year 2004. A total of 10 cases (6 males and 4 females) were observed for the entomological specimens. Various types of death scenes were obtained including indoor and outdoor area such as bushes field, rubbish dumping site, and aquatic areas. Identified fly species collected from the death sites were blow flies, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya rufifacies and Lucilia cuprina and unknown sarcophagid larvae, with Ch. megacephala being the most common species found in the ecologically varied death scene habitats. The post-mortem interval (PMI) estimation ranged from one to five days, based on the entomological specimens collected.
  10. Syamsa RA, Omar B, Zuha RM, Faridah MN, Swarhib MS, Hidayatulfathi O, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2015 Jun;32(2):291-9.
    PMID: 26691258 MyJurnal
    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.
  11. Syamsa RA, Ahmad FM, Zuha RM, Khairul AZ, Marwi MA, Shahrom AW, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2012 Mar;29(1):107-12.
    PMID: 22543610 MyJurnal
    This is the first report of Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp) (Diptera: Muscidae) on a human corpse discovered in a high-rise building in Malaysia. On 5 March 2008, a decomposing body of an adult female was found on the top floor of a thirteen-story building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her body was colonized by S. nudiseta larvae, which were normally associated with corpses found indoors at ground level. The post-mortem interval (PMI) was estimated at approximately 5 to 9 days. This case is significant as it demonstrates that this species can locate a dead body even in a high-rise building. Further findings of fly distribution especially in high-rise buildings should be reported to assist entomologists in PMI analysis.
  12. Ahmad Firdaus MS, Marwi MA, Syamsa RA, Zuha RM, Ikhwan Z, Omar B
    Trop Biomed, 2010 Apr;27(1):134-7.
    PMID: 20562824
    Hypopygiopsis violacea, a species of fly of forensic importance, was recovered from a corpse and described for the first time. The morphological structures of the second and third instar larvae of four specimens were examined using light microscope. Observations were focused on three main morphological characters: cephalopharyngeal skeleton, anterior and posterior spiracles. Cephalopharyngeal skeleton of second instar larva is darkly pigmented and without accessory sclerite below the mouth hook. The anterior spiracles of second and third instar larvae have 8-9 papillae each, arranged in a single row. The posterior spiracle of second instar larva has two spiracular slits with no thickening of peritreme. This differentiates it from the third instar, whereby the latter has three slits for each posterior spiracle. Cephalopharyngeal skeleton of third instar larva is heavily pigmented. An accessory sclerite is found below the hook part of third instar larva but is absent in second instar. Peritreme of the posterior spiracle of third instar larva is thick almost complete encircling a button. The intersegmental spines of the cuticular surface are dome-shaped and unicuspid. Third instar larva of this species is large with size approximately 15 mm long. These findings provide important identification features of immature stages of Hy. violacea which could be useful in forensic entomology.
  13. Heo CC, Kurahashi H, Mohamad AM, Jeffrey J, Dhang CC, Zuha RM, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2008 Dec;25(3):262-3.
    PMID: 19287369
    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.
  14. Omar B, Kurahashi H, Jeffery J, Yasohdha N, Lau SY, John MC, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2007 Dec;24(2):99-100.
    PMID: 18209716
    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.
  15. Zuha RM, Kurahashi H, Chin HC, Osman K, Rashid RA, Hassan RA, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2009 Aug;26(2):216-8.
    PMID: 19901908
    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.
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