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3 March 2020 Relative Insect Frequency and Species Richness on Sun-Exposed and Shaded Rabbit Carrions
Ashraf Mashaly, Ahmed Mahmoud, Hossam Ebaid
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On rabbit carcasses (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) exposed in open and shaded habitats, the relative abundance of insects and species richness were observed. The decomposition process was classified into four stages: fresh, bloated, decayed, and dry. Except for the decayed stage, the elapsed time for each stage of decomposition was similar between open and shaded habitats, with all carcasses reaching dryness in 13 and 14 d, respectively. In total, 2009 insects were collected during the decomposition process with 1,863 flies belonging to seven families and 15 species, and 146 beetles belonging to six species and three families. Insect abundances rose between the fresh and decay stages. The dominant families of insects included Calliphoridae and Muscidae (80.9% of the collected insects) and accounting for 38.07% of the species richness, whereas Histeridae accounted for 4.3% of the collected insects and 14.29% of the species richness. The open habitat attracted 1,233 insects belonging to 18 families, including 1,142 flies and 91 beetles, whereas the shaded habitat attracted 776 insects belonging to 18 families, including 721 flies and 55 beetles. Diversity level and ratios of exclusive species are also reported for each habitat (open 61.4%; shaded 38.6%). Between habitats, there were substantially separate insect communities, however. In addition, there was a substantial difference in the insect number and species between decomposition stages. This study demonstrates that the exposure status needs to be evaluated and examined when estimating the time since death.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Ashraf Mashaly, Ahmed Mahmoud, and Hossam Ebaid "Relative Insect Frequency and Species Richness on Sun-Exposed and Shaded Rabbit Carrions," Journal of Medical Entomology 57(4), 1006-1011, (3 March 2020).
Received: 27 November 2019; Accepted: 7 February 2020; Published: 3 March 2020

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