Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Invasive fly species continues to move northward

Date:
July 2, 2013
Source:
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science
Summary:
The local discovery of a species of fly not native to the Midwest could have significant implications on forensic investigations involving decomposing remains, according to a forensic biology researcher.

This new fly species, Chrysomya Megacephala, is not native to Indiana but was found last fall in Indianapolis. Its discovery could impact forensic investigations.
Credit: Image courtesy of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science

The local discovery of a species of fly not native to the Midwest could have significant implications on forensic investigations involving decomposing remains, according to a forensic biology researcher at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Christine Picard, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology in the School of Science at IUPUI, discovered the fly, Chrysomya megacephala Fabricius (C. megacephala), during a routine collection of fly samples in late September 2012. Until now, entomologists had never documented the fly farther north than New Mexico.

"Although I only found a single fly of this species, this is an important event in the area of forensics," said Picard, also a faculty member in the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program at IUPUI. "Because this fly is not typically found here, we don't know how it develops here, how to use that data or how it could affect the precision and accuracy of forensic investigations."

The growth and development of flies play an important role for scientists looking to learn how long a human or other animal has been dead. When a new species is introduced, scientists or investigators may be at a disadvantage because of the little data that exists locally on that species.

C. megacephala breeds in the decomposing flesh of animals or discarded organic materials and has the potential to carry disease. Its existence could negatively impact the native species of flies as well, changing the dynamics of this highly specialized ecosystem.

"This discovery tells us as researchers that there is a new fly we have to consider, especially when we're processing casework samples." Picard said.

The fly specimen currently is stored at the Purdue University Entomological Collection, and it is the only one of its kind in its vast inventory. Picard's discovery will be published in the July edition of the Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington journal.

This particular fly, native to Asia and Africa, first was documented in 1988 in the United States. Until now, it had been contained to the southern states, where the warmer climate allows it to grow and breed. The mild winter and long, drought-stricken summer of 2012 in Indiana likely contributed to the fly moving this far north, Picard said.

As average temperatures continue to increase, Picard predicts this will not be the last time Indiana sees this fly.

"This fly has the potential to become a dominant fly species in this area," Picard said. "The changing climate conditions show us that we should never really stop collecting samples. We will be on the lookout this summer for more of this particular fly."

Abstract: http://science.iupui.edu/sites/default/files/first_record_of_chrysomya_megacephala.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. "Invasive fly species continues to move northward." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702151057.htm>.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. (2013, July 2). Invasive fly species continues to move northward. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702151057.htm
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. "Invasive fly species continues to move northward." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702151057.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins