Volume 38, Issue 2 (March 1993)
Preliminary Observations of the Effects of Amitriptyline in Decomposing Tissues on the Development of Parasarcophaga ruficornis (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) and Implications of This Effect to Estimation of Postmortem Interval
Larvae of Parasarcophaga ruficornis (Fabricius) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) were reared on tissues from rabbits administered different dosages of amitriptyline to study the effects of this drug on the development of this insect species. The rabbits were given 300, 600, and 1000 mg of amitriptyline via ear vein infusion. No significant differences in rates of larval growth were observed among the colonies. Durations of the larval stage were significantly longer for larvae fed on tissues from rabbits receiving amitriptyline. Larval mortality was observed to be 5.5% for the control colony, but ranged from 40.5 to 57.5% for the test colonies. Durations of the puparial stage were significantly longer for the colonies fed on tissues from the rabbits receiving the 600 and 1000 mg dosages of amitriptyline than for the control and colony fed on tissues from the rabbit receiving the 300 mg dosage. Observed differences in the durations of the larval and pupal stages from the test colonies were sufficient to alter a postmortem interval estimate by up to 77 h, if based on normal developmental patterns for this species at 26°C. Presence of amitriptyline and nortriptyline could be detected in larvae from all colonies fed on tissues from the rabbits receiving amitriptyline using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).