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Preliminary observations on the effects of hydrocortisone and sodium methohexital on development of Sarcophaga (Curranea) tibialis Macquart (Diptera: Sarcophagidae), and implications for estimating post mortem interval

By E. Musvasva, K.A. Williams, W.J. Muller and M.H. Villet


Larvae of Sarcophaga (Curranea) tibialis (S. tibialis) were reared at constant temperature on chicken liver treated with a steroid or a barbiturate at concentrations that would be lethal, half-lethal and twice-lethal doses for humans. Trends to greater mortality at higher drug concentrations were not statistically significant. Larvae exposed to either drug took significantly longer to reach pupation compared to those in the control, while larvae exposed to sodium methohexital passed through pupation significantly faster than those in the control. No systematic relationship was found between drug concentration and development time of larvae or pupae. The total developmental period from hatching to eclosion did not differ between treatments, implying that estimates of post mortem intervals- (PMI) based on the emergence of adult flies will not be affected by the involvement of these drugs in a case. On the other hand, anomalous pupation spans may indicate the presence of barbiturates. These findings are compared with patterns found in another fly fed other contaminants.

Topics: Subjects to be assigned
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0379-0738
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