Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification

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

CJAI 27 -- January 22, 2015

Sabrina Rochefort1, Marjolaine Giroux2, Jade Savage3 and Terry A. Wheeler1

1Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, Canada (,
2Montréal Insectarium / Space for life, 4581, rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, QC, H1X 2B2, Canada (
3Biological Sciences, Bishop's University, 2600 College Street, Sherbrooke, QC, J1M 1Z7, Canada (


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


Many species of Piophilidae (Diptera) are relevant to forensic entomology because their presence on a corpse can be helpful in estimating the postmortem interval (PMI) and document insect succession. The aims of this paper are to document the fauna of forensically relevant Piophilidae species worldwide and to present an updated checklist and identification key to the Nearctic species, as existing keys are either outdated, too broad in geographical scope to be user-friendly, and/or contain ambiguous characters. Thirteen species are included in the checklist and key. Information on their biology, taxonomy, character variability, and distribution is provided, supplementing the extensive work of McAlpine (1977).


Piophila casei males engaging in pugilistic territory defense.
Photo by Stephen A. Marshall