Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

Key to Forensically Important Piophilidae (Diptera) in the Nearctic Region

CJAI 27 -- January 22, 2015

Sabrina Rochefort, Marjolaine Giroux, Jade Savage and Terry A. Wheeler


| Abstract | Introduction | Materials & Methods | Identification Challenges | Checklist | Key to Piophilidae | Acknowledgments | References | PDF | Cite |

Materials and Methods

The checklist of Nearctic Piophilidae of forensic importance was compiled from the literature and from specimens collected in the context of a study of the insect fauna associated with nine pig carcasses in three semi-urban sites located along a latitudinal gradient in Quebec (Canada) in summer 2011 by Giroux, Savage and collaborators. The sampling sites were Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue (45.436°, -73.909°) (22 June to 14 August), Sherbrooke (45.361°, -71.844°) (6 July to 26 August) and Saguenay (La Baie) (48.350°, -70.967°) (4 July to 19 August).

Approximately 1065 piophilid specimens from these three sites were examined. They were identified to species using McAlpine (1977) and compared with reference specimens in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, ON (CNC) and the Lyman Entomological Museum, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC (LEM). Voucher specimens were deposited in the Insectarium de Montréal’s scientific collections (IMQC) and the Bishop’s University Insect Collection (BUIC).

In addition, approximately 5600 specimens of Piophilidae included in the key were examined to document geographic distribution and intraspecific variability. These specimens are deposited in CNC; LEM; the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Guelph, ON, (BIO); the University of Guelph Insect Collection, Guelph, ON, (DEBU); the Ouellet-Robert Collection, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC (UMIC); the Spencer Entomological Collection, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Vancouver, BC (UBCZ); the Strickland Museum, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (UASM); and the United States National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, (USNM). Additional published records were added where necessary.

Classification of genera and species follows McAlpine (1977) for consistency with the Nearctic literature. Ozerov (2004) proposed a different generic classification, followed by some authors, especially in Europe, but that classification, like McAlpine’s, was not based on a phylogenetic analysis and thus is no better supported. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis and revised classification of the Piophilidae is required.

Photographs for the key were taken with an Olympus DP71 camera mounted on an Olympus SZX16 stereoscope. Images were captured and stacked using DP Controller and Combine ZP (Hadley 2008) before being enhanced using Adobe Photoshop [CS3] (Adobe Systems, Mountain view, CA).