Arthropods associated with carrion in a salt marsh habitat in southeastern Florida

Stephanie L. Richards, C. Roxanne Connelly, Jonathan F. Day, Timothy Hope, Ricardo Ortiz

Abstract


Few studies have assessed arthropods associated with carrion in salt marsh environments. Arthropods attracted to animal carcasses in a salt marsh environment were surveyed in southeastern Florida during four seasons from September 2009 to July 2010. A total of 2,324 arthropod specimens were collected from carcasses (coyote, opossum, raccoon, bobcat, and otter) and 4 orders, 23 families, 28 genera, and 24 species were identified. Specimens were most frequently encountered from the order Diptera (85% of total), and Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and Musca domestica (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) represented 50% of specimens collected. We observed seasonal variation in abundance of dipterans. The information presented here may be useful for future studies identifying arthropods having wildlife forensic entomology significance within sub­tropical Florida salt marsh habitats.

 

Resumen

Pocos estudios han evaluado los insectos de importancia forense de ambientes de pantanos salados. Se realizo un sondeo de los insectos atraídos a los cadáveres de animales en un ambiente de pantano salado en el sureste de la Florida durante cuatro temporadas desde septiembre del 2009 hasta julio del 2010. Se recolectaron un total de 2,324 especímenes de insectos de los cadáveres (coyote, tlacuache, mapache, y lince rojo) y se identificaron 4 órdenes, 23 familias, 28 géneros y 24 especies. Los es­pecimenes encontrados con mayor frecuencia fue de la orden Diptera (85% del total). Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) y Musca domestica (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) representaron el 50% de las muestras recolectadas en el Orden Diptera. Observamos variación estacional de la abundancia de dípteros. Esta información puede ser usada para identificar los insectos que tienen importancia forense dentro de los hábitats de pantanos salados subtropicales de la Florida.

 

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Keywords


entomology; Calliphoridae; Diptera; decomposition; Chrysomya rufifacies; Phormia regina

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