There is very little information concerning carrion fly population genetic structure. We generated amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) profiles for the common blowfly, Phormia regina (Meigen), from sites spanning the contiguous United States. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) based on 232 loci found significant variation (ΦSC = 23%) among discrete samples (those collected at a bait in one location over a short period of time). Samples collected in the same location but at different times were also distinct. When samples were pooled into geographic regions (east, central, west), the variation was negligible (ΦCT = 0%). A Mantel test found only a very weak correlation between individual genetic and geographic distances. Relative relatedness coefficients based on shared allele proportions indicated individual samples were likely to contain close relatives. P. regina arriving at an individual carcass typically represent a nonrandom sample of the population despite a lack of geographic structure. A female blow fly produces hundreds of offspring at one time; therefore, newly emerged siblings may respond in concert to an odor plume. These results may be of interest to forensic entomologists, many of whom use a laboratory colony founded from a small sample for the growth studies that support casework. Discrepancies between published growth curves may reflect such random differences in the founding individuals.
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