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Preliminary study of necrophagous Diptera associated with boar corpse (Sus scrofa) in a semi-arid environment in eastern Algeria: Implications in forensic entomology.


Background: This study is the first evaluation of Diptera successional pattern on a killed boarin a semi-arid environment Bordj Bou Arreridj during the summer 2013. Objective: Specifically, we aimed to perform a listing the most frequent species in which they occur, identify species that have been previously associated with medico-legal practices and draw perspectives on the status of the scientific research and on the potential of forensic entomology as a routine procedure in the region. Results: 6620 specimens were collected with the method of glue traps; they were belonging to 23 species of Diptera and16 families, during the experiment, we recognized Lucilia sericata and Chrysomya albiceps, like the most important species encountered in local entomofauna, for what concerned the forensic entomology aspects. Conclusion: The results of this study could be very useful for further forensic investigations in East of Algeria.

KEYWORDS: Sus scrofa, Diptera, Lucilia sericata, Chrysomya albiceps, forensic entomology, carrion


Forensic entomology is the use of insects and their arthropod relatives as silent witnesses to aid legal investigations by interpreting information concerning a death [11]. Its main application is in the determination of the minimum time since death in cases of suspicious death, either by estimating the age of the oldest necrophagous insects that developed on the corpse, or by analysing the insect species composition on the corpse [10]. The estimation of the minimum time elapsed between death and discovery of the corpse, the minimum postmortem interval (minPMI) or time of death, is one of the main goals of forensic entomology [25]. The identification of insects associated with a corpse and their specific insect biology, duration of each stage with varying temperatures, and other abiotic factors can provide useful data for the best estimation. The identification of insects associated with a corpse and their specific insect biology, duration of each stage with varying temperatures, and other abiotic factors can provide useful data for the best estimation minPMI. The succession of insects is used for estimation of the minPMI. In the warm season there are many insect species, which enable us to estimate the time of death, [9]. The Diptera is one of the most species-rich and ecologically diverse clades of insects [6]. They play a significant role in renewing the grounds by reprocessing the organic matter, as well as the forest litter, in which they contribute to achieve its transformation [16]. Species from the order Diptera have been associated with criminal investigations that extrapolate their use in estimating the postmortem interval [24]. Preimaginal stages of sarco saprophagous Diptera are very interesting in forensic sciences from an applied point of view [25]. The decomposition of the organic matter, like a carrion or a dead body to acomplete skeletonisation passes by strongly, complex and variables stages that depend on the environmental conditions according to CHARABIDZE et al. [5]. The fauna of necrophagous Diptera has been intensively studied in Australasia, Europe, East and South Asia, and North and South America, with notable effect in the form of a variety of published checklists, keys, and taxonomic monographs Irish et al. [13] and Yang et al. [26]. This study aims on the occurrence of necrophagous species of Diptera in the east region of Algeria, according to their potential use in forensic investigations. Specifically, we aimed to perform a listing the most frequent species in which they occur, identify species that have been previously associated with medico-legal practices and draw perspectives on the status of the scientific research and on the potential of forensic entomology as a routine procedure in the region.


Study area


The study area (36[degrees] 04' with 36[degrees] 08' NR., 04[degrees] 44' with 04[degrees] 50' E.)was located in Bordj Bou Arreridj, is located on the high plateaus (Fig. 1). The value of the pluviometric quotient is equal to 37.7 with an average pluviometry of 360.1 mm and an average temperature of 34, 4[degrees]C during the summer of 2013 (07 July until the 21th July. These characteristics classify the study site like a semi-arid bioclimatic stage with cold winter. The selected station is bordered on the North by a mountain, on the east by grounds of culture abandoned, on the south by a small river and on the west by pastures. The vegetation is composed of a primarily formed herbaceous layer of Asteracees.

Rapping method:

Diptera were collected using 25 cm x 12 cm yellow paperboards with a thin layer of glue, following the design of Benkhelil [2].

The traps were suspended over the carcass (Fig. 2) using a wire The first trap was placed the second day of the experiment and a new trap was replaced every 24 hours during the two weeks of experiment (14 traps were used in total), After every inspection, the traps were recovered and transported to the laboratory to identify the captured species.


Moreover, during the first 6 days of the experiment, flies visiting the carcass were collected using an insect net the flies Caliphoridae (Lucilia sericata), present were captured by insect net and placed in alcohol (75%) Of the flies captured, the number of male and female Calliphoridae were recordeddaily (for 6 days). The fly pupae were collected 10 days after carcass placement. After 13 days, large numbers of calliphorid puparia (in total n=158) were collected from the soil under the carcass.

Determination of species:

The collected samples were analyzed at the laboratory of National agricultural higher school, Algiers--El Harrach, The identification was performed through the use of available identification keys: Perrier [20], Matile, [16, 17], Akbarzadeh et al., [1], Rochefort et al., [21]

Lucilia sericata sex ratio determination:

Genitalia were extracted from adults of Lucilia sericata captured, by hand during the first experimental week and preserved in alcohol (75%). define the sex-ratio. This technique pass through several stages [16].


The decompositions stage:

During the experimental period, we identified 5 stages of decomposition: fresh, bloated, active decay, advanced decay and dry stage. Respect the fact that the average room temperature was around 34[degrees]C, the decomposition of tissues was accelerated considerably. Direct effect of this facts, is the complete process of decomposition in 15 days. The number of species on the carcasses varied according to the stage of decomposition, from fresh stage to dry. necrophagous species were registered throughout the entire decomposition (Tab 1).

Fresh stage (1 day): The fresh stage begins at the moment of death and continues until bloating is first evident. At this stage, did not register nor the type of flies, because we have not set any trap, But we noticed the arrival of the first group of Calliphoridae. Bloated (2 days): the principal component of decomposition process, begins during this stage, we have registered a large number of Necrophagous Diptera at 4550 individual. Active decay (2 days): Is the second in terms of number, where it was recorded 983 individual, advanced decay (5 days): This was the longest stages of decomposition of the body, as long as five days where he dragged 909 individual. Dry (4 days): This was the last stage of decomposition of the body, it lasted four days and the small number of individuals.

More individuals were collected after the second day post-death, although in the Bloated and Active decay stage the relative proportion of necrophagous species was higher than at the other phases.


Diptera is the most important order in the faunal composition, were collected every day from the fresh to dry stage of decomposition. In the fresh stage of carcass decomposition, Lucilia sericata, Chrysomya albiceps, Musca domestica, Muscina stabulans, Sarcophaga africa, Anthomyia pluvialis, Piophila casei and several Sarcophagidae were collected.

Succession of insects:

In total, 6620 adult were collected (Tab. 1). They belonged to 16 families: Calliphoridae, Muscidae, Fanniidae, Anthomyidae, Scatophagidae, Sarcophagidae, Syrphidae, Piophilidae, Ulidiidae, Phoridae, Sphaeroceridae, Empididae, Chloropidae, Sciaridae, Psycodidae and Mycetophilidae.

During the first two days of observation, the first squadis dominated by the green fly (Lucilia sericata) with 2105 individuals, by Chrysomya albiceps with 1301 individuals followed by Musca domestica with 644 individuals. Then, beyond the 7th day, Piophila casei dominated the scene until the 15th.Musina stabulans Anthomya pluvialis, Sarcophaga africa and the other recognized Diptera contribute slightly. It's important to highlight that manpower of Diptera are reduced very quickly between the second day and the eighth. (Tab.1, Fig. 4).

The decomposition of wild boar attracted 23 species of necrophagous Diptera during 15 days. They belonged to 16 familles. We show the predominance of two species, Lucilia sericata (41%) and Chrysomya albiceps (22%), followed by Musca domestica (24, 3%)

Values of the diversity of Shannon-Weaver H' = 0.78 bits and H max = 1.36 bits. In the same way, the value of the equitability obtained compared the species captured in the traps with lime = 0.6 and tends towards 1, implies that the involved species tend to be in balance each other.


The results show that the first sample analyzed with the method of the genitalia extrancion reveals only females individuals, probably to the carrion to lay their eggs. We report that males are not attracted by the carrion and that they did not come to females for mating, nor for food. So we can suppose that the mating took place earlier and elsewhere. Furthermore, we see that the second generation taken by the pupae of the first one (Tab. 3) contains both sex with a sex ratio of 0.83.


The number of decomposition stages and their types found in the present study were similar in the area of Gouraya in the west of Tipaza Bensaada et al. [3] showed that decomposition in all replicate soccurred in five distinct stages: fresh; bloated; active decay; advanced decay and finally, the dry stage.

The succession of the total number of diptera gradually increased to a maximum point on day 5 then decreased until the last day The attraction of species also increased until an advanced state of decay where the number began to then decrease until dry [7].

a secondary fly, with a maximum appearance at day 3 similar to Musca domestica, which was the predominant species of this season [14]. which consistent with our finding, Only Muscina stabulans and Fannia spp. were present more or less continuously throughout the process, with the numbers falling after the migration of post-feeding larvae. Both acted at least as secondary species, the lengthening of the decomposition process permitted a delay in the maximum of appearance [14]. In the summer investigation of carcass decomposition, Lucilia sericata, L. caesar, Chrysomya albiceps, Musca domestica, Muscina stabulans and several Sarcophagidae detected in this season. Dipterans belonging to 4 families, 7 genera and 11 species Among these one family was predominant; the family of Calliphoridae constituted 94.82% followed by the other families as Muscidae 3.13%, Sarcophagidae 1.12% and Fanniidae with 0.93% [8]. Taleb (2013) on the carrion of a rabbit during the summer, noticed that the most abundant species is Liopygia sp. (Sarcophagidae) at 26, 2%, followed by Chrysomya albiceps (Calliphoridae) at 18, 6% and Lucilia sericata (Calliphoridae) at 22, 2%. Martin-Vega and Baz [15] captured especially Calliphoridae (41, 9%) and Muscidae (35, 1%). Bensaada et al. [3] drew attention to the predominance of the family of Calliphoridae on a cat carrion placed in a familiar garden in the area of Gouraya in the west of Tipaza. Berrouane [4] calculated the values of the index of diversity of Shannon-Weaver of the flies counted in the traps with lime installed near eight corpses in degradation the author obtained 2.4 bits on the Black bird and 3.9 bits on Pigeons. Have been registered since the beginning until the end of decomposition, only females, the number of female Calliphoridae were on average greater than the number of males daily [7].


This is, to our knowledge, the first inventory of necrophagous Diptera species in a semi-arid environment in Algeria. We collected important Diptera's species such as Lucilia sericata, Chrysomya albiceps, Musca domestica, Antomiya pluvialis, Sarcophage africa and Piophila casei which can be useful indicators of each specific decomposition stage of fwild boar and human cases as well. Insect succession on carrion can provide useful information to determine the time of death. The data from our study could be very useful for further forensic investigations in East of Algeria. As suggested by Bensaada F. et al. [3], many studies are needed to develop a larger geographical database of insect succession on carrion in a variety of habitats and in all regions in which forensic entomology is used.


We are grateful to Daniel Martin-Viga (Natural History Museum, London, UK) for providing constructive comments and revising the English language and of identification the species Piophila casie.


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(1) M. Saifi, (1) F.Z. Berrouane, (2) F. Bensaada, (1) S. Doumandji

(1) Departement de Zoologie agricole et forestiere, Ecole nationale superieure d'agronomie, Alger, Algeria

(2) Ecole Nationale Superieure de Sciences Politiques E.N.S.S.P., Ben Aknoun Alger, Algeria

Address For Correspondence:

SAIFI Mounir, Ecole nationale superieure d'agronomie (ENSA), 1 Departement de Zoologie agricole et forestiere, El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria. E-mail:

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).



Received 12 January 2016; Accepted 10 March 2017; Available online 26 March 2017
Table 1: Numbers of the necrophagous species captured on the carrion of
Sus scrofa in the course of experiment

Stage of decomposition/days
post-mortem                  Fresh      Bloated       Active decay

Species                       D.1       D.2   D.3     D.4   D.5
Lucilia sericata              0         1462  643     256   145
Chrysomya albiceps            0          956  345      54    44
Muscina stabulans             0           35   22      11    11
Musca domestica               0          431  213      76    45
Muscinae sp.                  0           42   47      37    24
Fannia Sp.                    0           56   38      22    23
Anthomyia pluvialis           0           34   23      17     3
Anthomyinae sp.               0            4    2       6     7
Scatophaga Sp.                0           12    7       4     9
Scatophagidae sp.             0            2    1       0     0
Sarcophaga africa             0           59   42      34    21
Sarcophaga sp.                0            3    4       1     0
Eristalis aenus               0            0    0       0     0
Syrphydae                     0            0    0       0     0
Piophila casei                0           29   34      54    65
Ulidiidae                     0            0    0       0     0
Phoridae                      0            0    0       5     2
Sphaeroceridae                0            0    0       0     1
Empididae                     0            0    1       0     0
Chloropidae                   0            0    0       0     0
Sciara Sp.                    0            1    2       5     0
Psycodidae                    0            0    0       0     1
Mycetophilidae                0            0    0       0     0
Totels                        0         4550          983
Stage of decomposition/days
                                     Advanced decay

Species                        D.6  D.7  D.8  D.9  D.10  D.11

Lucilia sericata               74   62   26   14   12    17
Chrysomya albiceps             32   12    3    5    4     0
Muscina stabulans               6    7    1    2    0     0
Musca domestica                33   31   10    4    9     5
Muscinae sp.                   22   12    9    3    4     2
Fannia Sp.                     19   11   19    5    3     0
Anthomyia pluvialis             2    0    1    2    4     6
Anthomyinae sp.                 3    1    3    6    1     1
Scatophaga Sp.                  2    1    1    1    1     2
Scatophagidae sp.               0    0    1    0    1     0
Sarcophaga africa               8    5    4    1    9     5
Sarcophaga sp.                  0    1    0    0    2     0
Eristalis aenus                 1    0    0    2    0     0
Syrphydae                       0    1    0    0    0     0
Piophila casei                 74   88   76   23   21    26
Ulidiidae                       0    2    1    6    5     0
Phoridae                        0    1    0    3    1     0
Sphaeroceridae                  4    2    1    1    3     1
Empididae                       0    3    0    0    2     0
Chloropidae                     1    0    0    0    0     2
Sciara Sp.                      2    1    0    0    0     0
Psycodidae                      0    0    0    0    0     0
Mycetophilidae                  2    0    0    0    0     0
Totels                        909
Stage of decomposition/days

Species                      D.12  D.13  D.14  D.15  Totals

Lucilia sericata              6     0     0     0     2717
Chrysomya albiceps            1     1     0     0     1457
Muscina stabulans             1     2     0     1       99
Musca domestica               6     11    7     4      885
Muscinae sp.                  0     0     1     0      203
Fannia Sp.                    0     1     1     0      198
Anthomyia pluvialis           3     2     1     0       98
Anthomyinae sp.               0     1     0     1       36
Scatophaga Sp.                0     0     0     0       40
Scatophagidae sp.             0     0     0     0        5
Sarcophaga africa             2     1     1     0      192
Sarcophaga sp.                0     0     0     0       11
Eristalis aenus               1     0     1     0        5
Syrphydae                     0     0     0     0        1
Piophila casei               28    24    23    11      576
Ulidiidae                     1     5     1     0       21
Phoridae                      0     0     0     0       12
Sphaeroceridae                6     7     2     5       33
Empididae                     0     0     0     1        7
Chloropidae                   0     0     1     0        4
Sciara Sp.                    1     0     3     0       15
Psycodidae                    0     0     1     0        2
Mycetophilidae                0     1     0     0        3
Totels                      178

Table 2: Relative abundance and frequency of occurrence of Diptera
species caught in glue traps over the carrion of wild boar

Famillys        Species              R. A.%  F.O.%

Calliphoridae   Lucilia sericata     41,04    79
                Chrysomya albiceps   22,01    79
Muscidae        Muscina stabulans    1,50     79
                Musca domestica      13,37   100
                Muscinae sp.          3,07    79
Fanniidae       Fannia Sp.            2,99    79
Anthomyidae     Anthomyia pluvialis   1,48    86
                Anthomyinae sp.       0,54    86
Scatophagidae   Scatophaga Sp.        0,60    71
                Scatophagidae sp.     0,08    29
Sarcophagidae   Sarcophaga africa     2,90    93
                Sarcophaga sp.        0,17    36
Syrphidae       Eristalis sp.         0,08    29
                Syrphydae sp.         0,02     7
Piophilidae     Piophila casei        8,70   100
Ulidiidae       Ulidiidae sp.         0,32    50
Phoridae        Phoridae sp.          0,18    36
Sphaeroceridae  Sphaeroceridae sp.    0,50    79
Empididae       Empididae sp.         0,11    29
Chloropidae     Chloropidae sp.       0,06    21
Sciaridae       Sciara sp.            0,23    50
Psycodidae      Psycodidae sp.        0,03    14
Mycetophilidae  Mycetophilidae sp.    0,05    14

F.O.%: frequency of occurrence, R. A.%: Relative abundance

Table 3: Sex-ratio of Lucilia sericata (generations 1 and 2)
captured with the hand on wild boar

                         1st Generation

Experimental days  [female]   [male]       Sex-ratio [male]

1                  68         0
2                  59         0
3                  47         0         N1[male]/N2[female] = 0  22
4                  55         0         N1[male]/N2[female] = 0  22
5                  38         0
6                  34         0
Totals             301        0

                           2nd Generation

Experimental days  [female]        [male]  Sex-ratio [male]

1                  36               26
2                  28               22
3                                   24     N1[male]/N2[female]=0,83
4                                   24     N1[male]/N2[female]=0,83
Totals             86               72

[female]: females;[male]: males; N1: Full number of males
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Author:Saifi, M.; Berrouane, F.Z.; Bensaada, F.; Doumandji, S.
Publication:Advances in Environmental Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6ALGE
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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