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Morphology and Identification of First Instars of African Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Commonly of Forensic Importance

Krzysztof Szpila, Martin H. Villet
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/ME10238 738-752 First published online: 1 July 2011


Scanning electron microscopy images of the first instars of Calliphora croceipalpis Jaennicke, 1876; Chrysomya chloropyga (Wiedemann, 1818); Chrysomya marginalis (Wiedemann, 1830); and Chrysomya putoria (Wiedemann, 1830) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are presented for the first time, and the following morphological structures are documented: pseudocephalon, antenna, maxillary palpus, facial mask, labial lobe, thoracic and abdominal spinulation, spiracular field, posterior spiracles, and anal pads. Light microscopy photographs and line illustrations are provided for the cephaloskeleton in lateral and ventral views, and the “ectostomal sclerite” and “chitinized teeth” of the cephaloskeleton are recognized as integral parts of the mouthhooks. New diagnostic features of the cephaloskeleton and the spinulation of the abdominal segments are described. These results allow refinement, clarification, and correction of earlier descriptions, which are reviewed. The relative taxonomic importance of various morphological characters of the first instars of necrophagous blow flies is discussed, and details of the cephaloskeleton and the spinulation of the abdominal segments are highlighted as the characters most useful for species identification. Finally, a key for identifying first instars of common African carrion blow flies is provided.

  • Calliphoridae
  • larvae
  • morphology
  • identification
  • Africa
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