In forensic entomology, the developmental duration and larval body length of sarcosaprophagous flies are presently the two major approaches to estimate minimal postmortem interval (PMImin). A full characterization of the developmental stages of Calliphoridae, a predominating species on corpses, is especially important for PMI estimation. Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, which appears on the corpse mainly during the decay and the post-decay stages, is of significant value for PMImin estimation. However, there are limited detailed reports on the development of such species. Hence, this study was conducted to address the development pattern of C. nigripes, in order to provide the basic data related to PMI estimation. In this study, the larvae of C. nigripes were collected from pig carcasses that were placed in the field. The colonies were cultured at constant temperatures of 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32 (±1) °C. The biological features of C. nigripes, the developmental pattern, and the body length with time at different temperatures were studied. The results showed that the average developmental duration of the C. nigripes larvae at 20, 24, 28, and 32 (±1) °C were 608.0 ± 68.0 h, 327.0 ± 53.8 h, 254.0 ± 36.5 h, and 217.0 ± 28.0 h, respectively. There were two phases of body length increment with developmental time: growing phase and plateau phase. The maximal body length was 11–12 mm, and the relationship between body length and developmental time can be simulated using the following equation: L = a + bT + cT2 + dT3. The data for developmental duration and larval body length at 16 °C were not obtained. In summary, this study comprehensively studied the developmental biology of C. nigripes, which has a significant value for estimating PMI from highly decayed carcasses.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Catts EP, Goff ML (1992) Forensic entomology in criminal investigations. Annu Rev Entomol 37:253–272
Roe A, Higley LG (2015) Development modeling of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae). PEERJ 3:e803
Lord WD, Goff ML, Adkins TR, Haskell NH (1994) The black soldier fly Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) as a potential measure of human postmortem interval: observations and case histories. J Forensic Sci 39:215–222
Tomberlin JK, Adler PH, Myers HM (2009) Development of the black soldier Fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) in relation to temperature. Environ Entomol 38:930–934
Nabity PD, Higley LG, Heng-Moss TM (2006) Effects of temperature on development of Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and use of developmental data in determining time intervals in forensic entomology. J Med Entomol 43:1276–1286
Richards CS, Paterson ID, Villet MH (2008) Estimating the age of immature Chrysomya albiceps (Diptera: Calliphoridae), correcting for temperature and geographical latitude. Int J Legal Med 122:271–279
Beuter L, Mendes J (2013) Development of Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in different pig tissues. Neotrop Entomol 42:426–430
Grassberger M, Reiter C (2001) Effect of temperature on Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) development with special reference to the isomegalen- and isomorphen-diagram. Forensic Sci Int 120:32–36
Reibe S, von Doetinchem P, Madea B (2010) A new simulation-based model for calculating post-mortem intervals using developmental data for Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Parasitol Res 107:9–16
Tarone AM, Picard CJ, Spiegelman C, Foran DR (2011) Population and temperature effects on Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) body size and minimum development time. J Med Entomol 48:1062–1068
Grassberger M, Reiter C (2002) Effect of temperature on development of the forensically important holarctic blow fly Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Forensic Sci Int 128:177–182
Charabidze D, Bourel B, Leblanc H, Hedouin V, Gosset D (2008) Effect of body length and temperature on the crawling speed of Protophormia terraenovae larvae (Robineau-Desvoldy) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). J Insect Physiol 54:529–533
Warren J, Anderson GS (2013) Effect of fluctuating temperatures on the development of a forensically important blow fly, Protophormia terraenovae (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Environ Entomol 42:167–172
Warren JA, Anderson GS (2013) The development of Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-Desvoidy) at constant temperatures and its minimum temperature threshold. Forensic Sci Int 233:374–379
Grassberger M, Reiter C (2002) Effect of temperature on development of Liopygia (= Sarcophaga) argyrostoma (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) and its forensic implications. J Forensic Sci 47:1332–1336
Donovan SE, Hall M, Turner BD, Moncrieff CB (2006) Larval growth rates of the blowfly, Calliphora vicina, over a range of temperatures. Med Vet Entomol 20:106–114
Defilippo F, Bonilauri P, Dottori M (2013) Effect of temperature on six different developmental landmarks within the pupal stage of the forensically important blowfly Calliphora vicina (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). J Forensic Sci 58:1554–1557
Baque M, Filmann N, Verhoff MA, Amendt J (2015) Establishment of developmental charts for the larvae of the blow fly Calliphora vicina using quantile regression. Forensic Sci Int 248:1–9
Sales T, Ferreira-Keppler RL, Oliveira-da-Silva A, Souza ASB (2013) Description of immature stages and development time of Paralucilia paraensis (Mello) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) associated with the decomposition of a partially submerged swine carcass. Neotrop Entomol 42:211–215
Nassu MP, Thyssen PJ, Linhares AX (2014) Developmental rate of immatures of two fly species of forensic importance: Sarcophaga (Liopygia) ruficornis and Microcerella halli (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). Parasitol Res 113:217–222
Voss SC, Cook DF, Hung W, Dadour IR (2014) Survival and development of the forensically important blow fly, Calliphora varifrons (Diptera: Calliphoridae) at constant temperatures. Forensic Sci Med Pat 10:314–321
Wells JD, Lecheta MC, Moura MO, LaMotte LR (2015) An evaluation of sampling methods used to produce insect growth models for postmortem interval estimation. Int J Legal Med 129:405–410
Swiger SL, Hogsette JA, Butler JF (2014) Laboratory colonization of the blow flies, Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). J Econ Entomol 107:1780–1784
Yang S, Shiao S (2014) Temperature adaptation in Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya pinguis, two blow fly species of forensic significance. Entomol Exp Appl 152:100–107
Flores M, Longnecker M, Tomberlin JK (2014) Effects of temperature and tissue type on Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) (Macquart) development. Forensic Sci Int 245:24–29
Salleh AFM, Marwi MA, Abdullah SR, Azil AH, Omar B (2014) Effects of temperatures on development of a forensically important fly Chrysomya villeneuvi Patton (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Sains Malays 43:1537–1542
Amendt J, Campobasso CP, Gaudry E, Reiter C, LeBlanc HN, Hall MJR (2007) Best practice in forensic entomology: standards and guidelines. Int J Leg Med 121:90–104
Amendt J, Richards CS, Campobasso CP, Reiter C, Hall MJR (2011) Forensic entomology: applications and limitations. Forensic Sci Med Pathol 7:379–392
Yin XJ, Ma MY, Zhou H, Lai Y, Wang JF (2014) The community succession of sarcosaphagous insects on pig carcasses in summer indoor and outdoor environment in Shenzhen area. Journal of Forensic Medicine 30:172–177
Sukontason K, Sukontason KL, Boonchu N, Chaiwong T, Piangjai S (2004) Ultrastructure of eggshell of Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin (Diptera : Calliphoridae). Parasitol Res 93:151–154
Sukontason KL, Vogtsberger RC, Boonchu N, Chaiwong T, Sripakdee D, Ngern-Klun R, Piangjai S, Sukontason K (2005) Larval morphology of Chrysomya nigripes (Diptera : Calliphoridae), a fly species of forensic importance. J Med Entonol 42:233–240
Sukontason KL, Kanchai C, Piangjai S, Boonsriwong W, Bunchu N, Sripakdee D, Chaiwong T, Kuntalue B, Siriwattanarungsee S, Sukontason K (2006) Morphological observation of puparia of Chrysomya nigripes (Diptera : Calliphoridae) from human corpse. Forensic Sci Int 161:15–19
Ngern-klun R, Sukontason K, Methanitikorn R, Vogtsberger RC, Sukontason KL (2007) Fine structure of Chrysomya nigripes (Diptera : Calliphoridae), a fly species of medical importance. Parasitol Res 100:993–1002
O’Flunn MA (1983) Notes on the biology of Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin (Diptera: Calliphoridae). J Aust Entomol Soc 22:341–342
Moophayak K, Klong-Klaew T, Sukontason K, Kurahashi H, Tomberlin JK, Sukontason KL (2014) Species composition of carrion blow flies in northern Thailand: altitude appraisal. Rev Inst Med Trop Sp 56:179–182
Ahmad A, Ahmad AH (2009) A preliminary study on the decomposition and dipteran associated with exposed carcasses in an oil palm plantation in Bandar Baharu, Kedah, Malaysia. Trop Biomed 26:1–10
We thank Lingfeng Gui (bureau of public security of Panyu district of Guangzhou city) for providing outdoor carcasses simulation field. This study was supported by the grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30870332, No. 81273352). Thanks to the two anonymous reviewers, and their comments and suggestions give us great inspiration.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Soochow University ethical research committee. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants (or their relation) included in the study.
Electronic supplementary material
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
ESP_1 eggs, larvae, pupae, adults, and new emergence adults of C. nigripes in field successional experiment. From 00:00 to 00:27 video playback is the eggs and adults. From 00:28 to 01:15 video playback is the larvae. From 01:16 to 01:39 video playback is the pupae. From 01:40 to 02:09 video playback is the new emergence adults (FLV 129554 kb)
About this article
Cite this article
Li, L., Wang, Y., Wang, J. et al. Temperature-dependent development and the significance for estimating postmortem interval of Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, a new forensically important species in China. Int J Legal Med 130, 1363–1370 (2016) doi:10.1007/s00414-016-1315-6
- Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin
- Postmortem interval
- Developmental stage
- Body length
- Post-decay stage