Volume 41, Issue 4 (July 1996)
Initial Studies on Insect Succession on Carrion in Southwestern British Columbia
This is the first report of an ongoing study of insect succession on carrion in British Columbia. Pig (Sus scrofa L.) carcasses were used as human models to determine insect succession on carrion over time in an open, sunlit, rural area in summer in southwestern British Columbia, in order to begin a database of insect colonization of carrion in this province. Insects colonized the remains in sequence over 271 days postmortem. Some species, in particular, those in the Piophilidae and Dermestidae families, were collected earlier in the decomposition process than usually reported from other regions, probably indicating geographic variation in colonization times. Maggot activity raised internal carcass temperature, but minimum and maximum internal temperatures fluctuated more than ambient temperatures, with diel internal temperature differences of more than 35°C. Soil fauna also showed considerable changes in identity and number of species, and had not returned to pre-carcass levels 271 days postmortem.