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.
Flies attracted to human remains during death investigations were surveyed in north Peninsular Malaysia. Six families, eight genera, and 16 species were identified from human remains, with the greatest fly diversity occurring on remains recovered indoors. The total relative frequency of species was led by Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794) (46%), followed by Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart, 1842) (22%), Sarcophaga (Liopygia) ruficornis (Fabricius, 1974) (5%), Sarcophaga spp. (4%), Synthesiomyia nudiseta Wulp, 1883 (6%), Megaselia spp. (3%), Megaselia scalaris (Loew, 1866), (2%), Megaselia spiracularis Schmitz, 1938 (2%), and Chrysomya villeneuvi Patton, 1922 (2%). Hemipyrellia tagaliana (Bigot, 1877), Desmometopa sp., Megaselia curtineura (Brues, 1909), Hemipyrellia ligurriens Wiedemann 1830, Ophyra sp., Sarcophaga princeps Wiedemann 1830, Piophila casei (Linnaeus, 1758), and unidentified pupae each represented 1%, respectively.
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.
A new species of Trichoformosomyia, T. abbreviata sp. nov., is described from Sabah, Malaysia. Trichoformosomyia sauteri Baranov is redescribed and it is newly recorded from China, Vietnam and Japan. A key to the three known species of Trichoformosomyia is given and monophyly of the genus is briefly discussed based on adult morphology.
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.
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.
This species, known only by a single male, is described from Mount Kinabalu and thus is recorded from the same area as Macrostylophora borneensis (Jordan, 1926), teste Traub (1972). It is distinguished from its congeneric and characterized by the absence of eriged setae on the thorax and first abdominal tergits, as well as by the shape of terminal segments and the phallosom. Macrostylophora kinabaluae was found to parasitize the Sciurid rodent Callosciurus prevostii that is widespread throughout most areas in the Malaysian subregion.
Horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) are of medical and veterinary importance, as their blood-sucking feeding habit enables them to transmit several disease-causing agents. In Malaysia, the family Tabanidae consists of 120 species belonging to eight genera. The current study describes two new species (Chrysops idlani sp. nov. and Tabanus ekor sp. nov.) and presents new records for seven species: Tabanus fontinalisSchuurmans Stekhoven, 1926; Tabanus fuscifronsSchuurmans Stekhoven, 1926, Tabanus latifasciesSchuurmans Stekhoven, 1926, Tabanus megalops (Walker, 1854), Tabanus rhinargusPhilip, 1962, Tabanus salvazai (Surcouf, 1922), and Tabanus tristisWulp, 1881. Complete descriptions and illustrations are provided for the new species, and species variations for the new records are discussed. Male Tabanus latifasciesSchuurmans Stekhoven, 1926 and Tabanus perakiensis Ricardo, 1911 are thoroughly described herein.
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.
Mycomya Rondani specimens from the islands of South-East Asia, i.e. Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, are revised. The paper includes a key to the Mycomya species of the South-East Asian islands. The following six new species are described: M. shimai sp. n. from Java, Indonesia, M. pongo sp. n. from Sabah, Malaysia, and M. apoensis sp. n., M. nakanishii sp. n., M. paraklossi sp. n. and M. yatai sp. n. from Mindanao, the Philippines. The holotypes of M. klossi Edwards from Borneo, Malaysia, and M. minutata Edwards from Sumatra, Indonesia, were examined and their genitalia are described. M. occultans (Winnertz) is recorded from Java, Indonesia.
Three new species of Dasyrhicnoessa Hendel, 1934 and one of Pseudorhicnoessa Malloch, 1914 from the Indo-Pacific area are described and the male terminalia illustrated. Among these new species, Dasyrhicnoessa paradoxa sp. nov. and Pseudorhicnoessa longicerca sp. nov. are especially noteworthy for the morphological peculiarities of the male terminalia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two new black fly species, Simulium (Gomphostilbia) brinchangense and S. (G.) tanahrataense, are described on the basis of reared adult females, males, pupae and larvae from Cameron's Highlands, Peninsular Malaysia. These new species are assigned to the asakoae species-group within Simulium (Gomphostilbia) and taxonomic notes are given to distinguish each new species from six known species in Malaysia. Revised keys to identify all 21 species including 13 species from other countries are provided for females, males, pupae and mature larvae. The species diversity of the asakoae species-group in Cameron's Highlands is briefly noted.
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.
Phylogenetic, genealogical and population relationships of Chrysomya bezziana, the Old World screwworm fly (OWSF), were inferred from DNA sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b), nuclear elongation factor-1α (EF-1α) and nuclear white eye colour (white), using sequences of Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya rufifacies as outgroups. Cyt b (717bp, 754 specimens), EF-1α (361bp, 256 specimens) and white (577bp, 242 specimens) were analysed from up to two African and nine Asian countries, including 10 Indonesian islands. We show that OWSF occurs as distinctive African and Asian lineages based on cyt b and white, and that there is a marked differentiation between Sumatran and Javan populations in Indonesia, supported by the genealogy and analysis of molecular variance of cyt b alone. Four cyt b sub-lineages are recognised in Asia: only 2.1 occurs on the Asian mainland, from Yemen to Peninsular Malaysia; only 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 occur in central Indonesia; 2.4 predominates on New Guinea; and 2.1 co-occurs with others only on Sumatra in western Indonesia. This phylogeography and the genetic distances between cyt b haplotypes indicate pre-historic, natural dispersal of OWSF eastwards into Indonesia and other Malesian islands, followed by vicariant evolution in New Guinea and central Indonesia. OWSF is absent from Australia, where there is surveillance for importation or natural invasion. Judged by cyt b haplotype markers, there is currently little spread of OWSF across sea barriers, despite frequent shipments of Australian livestock through Indonesian seas to the Middle East Gulf region. These findings will inform plans for integrated pest management, which could be applied progressively, for example starting in East Nusa Tenggara (central Indonesia) where OWSF has regional cyt b markers, and progressing westwards to Java where any invasion from Sumatra is unlikely. Cyt b markers would help identify the source of any re-emergence in treated areas.
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.