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Forensic Sci Int. 2014 Mar;236:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.12.010. Epub 2013 Dec 19.

Species composition of forensically important blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) through space and time.

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  • 1Institute of Forensic Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Kennedyallee 104, D-60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Department of Aquatic Ecotoxicology, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Strasse 13, D-60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:
  • 2Institute of Forensic Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Kennedyallee 104, D-60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Weekly monitoring of forensically important flight-active blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) was performed using small baited traps. Sampling took place in two rural, one suburban and two urban habitats in and around Frankfurt (Main), Germany, lasting two years and eight months. Highest values for species richness and Chao-Shen entropy estimator for Shannon's index in both families were found at the urban sites, peaking during summer. Space-time interaction was tested and found to be significant, demonstrating the value of a statistical approach recently developed for community surveys in ecology. K-means partitioning and analysis of indicator species gave significant temporal and habitat associations of particular taxa. Calliphora vicina was an indicator species for lower temperatures without being associated with a particular habitat. Lucilia sericata was an indicator for urban sites, whereas Lucilia ampullacea and Lucilia caesar were indicators for rural sites, supplemented by the less frequent species Calliphora vomitoria. Sarcophagidae were observed during a clearly shorter period of year. Sarcophaga subvicina+Sarcophaga variegata was found to be an indicator for urban habitats during summer as well as Sarcophaga albiceps for rural habitats. A significant association of Sarcophaga caerulescens to rural habitats as well as one of Sarcophaga similis to urban habitats was observed.


Diversity; Forensic entomology; Habitat association; Seasonal pattern; Space–time interaction

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