All Bundled Up: Testing Oviposition Delay and Preference of Lucilia sericata Based on Common Restriction Methods

Forrest Turner, Sherah Vanlaerhoven, Patricia Okpara


Blowflies are among the first carrion insects that will arrive upon a body while ti decomposes, and these flies can help in forensic identification by giving a timeline of death, known as Post Mortem Interval, PMI. After arriving at the body the flies will feed and lay their eggs via ovipositor known as oviposition; and they will lay these eggs on mucus membranes upon the bodies such as the eyes, mouth, and nose. Restriction or any kinds of obstruction may block these mucus membranes or the body in general which may lead to a delay in the discovery and thus the oviposition by these flies. This delay might result in a delayed PMI than what would normally be expected, and a reduction in eggs laid by the flies because of the obstruction and difficulties to access the body.

This experiment will investigate the response of obstruction methods presented by common household items to find the difference in oviposition by a common Southern Ontario blowfly species, Lucilia sericata. Restriction tests have been conducted in the past by M. Lee Goff in forensic investigations and this research is based on this concept (Goff, M.1992). These common household items; clothing, garbage bags, and a blanket are all items that may potentially be used in hiding a body which provides an outline on how L. Sericata will react and respond in the presence of an obstruction on a body, and if these different obstruction methods have a comparable difference in efficacy to keep L. Sericata away from the body, and create a significant delay, and reduction in oviposition. 

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Copyright (c) 2017 Forrest Turner

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