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Geographical Variation of Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles of Adult Flies and Empty Puparia Amongst Three Populations of Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

Kula, C; Amendt, J; Drijfhout, F; Moore, HE

Geographical Variation of Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles of Adult Flies and Empty Puparia Amongst Three Populations of Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Thumbnail


Authors

C Kula

J Amendt

HE Moore



Abstract

Blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are of great importance in forensic entomology and in determining the minimum post-mortem interval, as they may be the first group of insects to colonize decomposing remains. Reliable species identification is an essential prerequisite. Classically, morphological characters or DNA sequences are used for this purpose. However, depending on the species and the condition of the specimen, this can be difficult, e.g., in the case of empty fly puparia. Recent studies have shown that cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles are species-specific in necrophagous taxa and represent another promising tool for identification. However, the population-specific variability of these substances as a function of e.g., local climatic parameters has not yet been sufficiently investigated. The aim of this study was to determine the geographical variation of CHC profiles of the blowfly Calliphora vicina (Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830) depending on different countries of origin. Flies were reared in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Turkey in common garden experiments under ambient conditions. CHC profiles of the resulting adult flies and their empty puparia were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Data were visualized by principal component analysis and clustered by population. The populations of the United Kingdom and Germany, both having similar climates and being geographically close to each other, showed greater similarities in CHC profiles. However, the CHC profile of the Turkish population, whose climate is significantly different from the other two populations, was very different. Our study confirms the high potential of CHC analysis in forensic entomology but highlights the need to investigate geographical variability in chemical profiles.

Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2022
Publication Date Jan 12, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2023
Journal Journal of Medical Entomology
Print ISSN 0022-2585
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 14 - 23
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjac167
Publisher URL https://academic.oup.com/jme/article/60/1/14/6827102

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