Scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) inhabiting rabbit carcasses confined to plastic waste bins in Malaysia include new records and an undescribed species

Raja Muhammad Zuha Raja Kamal Bashah, See Huong-Wen, R. Henry L. Disney, Baharudin Omar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalTropical Life Sciences Research
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Megaselia abdita
Phoridae
Malaysia
Bins
Diptera
Plastics
plastics
rabbits
Rabbits
Animals
Ethanol
Megaselia scalaris
Sampling
Decomposition
Sarcophagidae
Hermetia illucens
Fannia
Fanniidae
traps
mosquito nets

Keywords

  • Decomposition
  • Diversity
  • Forensic entomology
  • Phoridae
  • Scuttle flies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Scuttle flies (Diptera : Phoridae) inhabiting rabbit carcasses confined to plastic waste bins in Malaysia include new records and an undescribed species. / Raja Kamal Bashah, Raja Muhammad Zuha; Huong-Wen, See; Disney, R. Henry L.; Omar, Baharudin.

In: Tropical Life Sciences Research, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2017, p. 131-143.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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