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1 June 2011 First Report of Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Northwestern Argentina
María S. Olea, María J. Dantur Juri, Néstor Centeno
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The Calliphoridae family comprises around 150 genera and more than 1000 species distributed world wide (Hennig 1973; Pont 1980; Shewell 1987). Chrysomya Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Calliphoridae) is an especially important genus because its species are reported as invaders in South America (Guimaraes et al. 1978), and they are involved in the transmission of enteric bacteria, protozoa and helminths (Greenberg 1973). These species can act as dispersere of disease because their special feeding habits, which include human food products and human or animal faeces (Bohart & Gressit 1951; Zumpt 1965). In subtropical and tropical Africa and Asia the old world screwworm, Chrysomya bezziana Villeneuve is an obligate parasite of mammals (Sutherst et al. 1989).




García (1959) reported seven species of Calliphoridae in Argentina, and Mariluis (1982) reported new species for the country, increasing to 12 the species included in the Calliphorinae, Chrysomyinae, and Toxotarsinae subfamilies. Later, Mariluis & Schnack (2002) cited 25 species for the country and Mariluis & Mulieri (2003) recorded 13 species in the Tucuman province, Northwestern Argentina, including Calliphora nigribasis Macquart, Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy, Phaenicia cluvia (Walker), Phoenicia peruviana (Robineau-Desvoidy), Phoenicia sericata (Meigen), Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius), Compsomyiops fulvicrura (Robineau-Desvoidy), Compsomyiops verena (Walker), Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann), Chrysomya chloropyga (Wiedemann), Paralucilia pseudolyrcea (Mello), Sarconesia chlorogaster (Wiedemann), and Sarconesiopsis magellanica (Le Guillou) (Mariluis & Mulieri 2003). Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) was reported in Argentina for Misiones, Santa Fé, and Buenos Aires provinces (northeast and center of the country) (Mariluis & Mulieri 2003).

The present study updates the distribution of Chrysomya megacephala for Argentina. The new records extend westward by approximately 500 km the known geographic distribution of the species, being the first report of the species in the Northwestern region of the country.

We collected adult calliphorids with Ferreira traps (Guimarães et al. 1983) from 1 Oct 2009 through 30 Jul 2010 in different locations of the Tucuman province, i.e., Jardín Botánico Miguel Lillo (26°49.8′S; 65°13.3′W) (Capital department), Nueva Esperanza (26°42.6′S; 65°15.9′W), and El Taficillo (26°41.3′S; 65°16.8′W) (Tafí Viejo department). The locations were placed according to relationship with anthropic activities, and Jardín Botánico represents the major degree of association with man, decreasing in Nueva Esperanza (with corn and citrus crops) and in El Taficillo (native rainforest). Traps were hung from tree branches at a height of 1.0 m. The collected specimens were taken to the laboratory and identified with the key of Mariluis & Schnack (2002). Voucher specimens were deposited in the collection of the Miguel Lillo Foundation Institute (Instituto-Fundación Miguel Lillo-IMLA).

The presence and abundance of C. megacephala adults and of the others calliphorid species is reported in Table 1.


Chrysomya megacephala is reported by the first time to Tucumán province, Northwestern Argentina. Eight other calliphorid species were collected in the same locations. The voucher specimens were deposited in the collection of the Miguel Lillo Foundation Institute (Instituto-Fundación Miguel Lillo-IMLA).


We thank Marcos Foguet for permission to place the traps in the Nueva Esperanza location.



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María S. Olea, María J. Dantur Juri, and Néstor Centeno "First Report of Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Northwestern Argentina," Florida Entomologist 94(2), 345-346, (1 June 2011).
Published: 1 June 2011
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