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28 September 2021 An Exploratory Study of Beetles and Flies of Forensic Importance on Sheep Carrion in Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa
D. Tembe, M.P. Malatji, S. Mukaratirwa
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Abstract

This study selected sheep as an animal model for domestic and wildlife ruminants to collect and identify arthropods of forensic importance. Two adult Merino sheep were humanely killed (each in cold and warm season) at Ukulinga Research and Training Farm of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Five decomposition stages were observed as fresh, bloated, active, advanced and dry stages. Calliphoridae, Muscidae and Sarcophagidae flies comprising of Chrysomya marginalis (Wiedemann), Ch. putoria (Wiedemann), Ch. albiceps (Wiedemann), Ch. chloropyga (Wiedemann.), Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann), Musca domestica (Walker) and Sarcophaga calcifera (Boettcher) were recorded. Colonisation by coleopterans during the warm season started as early as the fresh stage with Dermestes maculatus (De Geer), Thanatophilus micans (Fabricius) and Onthophagus crassicollis (Boucomont), whilst the same species were collected from the bloated stage in the cold season. Chrysomya marginalis, M. domestica, D. maculatus, T. micans and O. crassicollis persisted on the carcass throughout the five stages of decomposition during the warm season. Results from this study generated important information on the endemic arthropod species that are attracted to sheep carcass during the warm and cold season in a locality of the KwaZulu-Natal province and their succession pattern can be further investigated as potential indicator species in estimating the post-mortem interval in this locality.

©Entomological Society of Southern Africa
D. Tembe, M.P. Malatji, and S. Mukaratirwa "An Exploratory Study of Beetles and Flies of Forensic Importance on Sheep Carrion in Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa," African Entomology 29(2), 590-601, (28 September 2021). https://doi.org/10.4001/003.029.0590
Received: 11 January 2021; Accepted: 12 May 2021; Published: 28 September 2021
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