Volume 46, Issue 3 (May 2001)
The Forensic Application of Allozyme Electrophoresis to the Identification of Blowfly Larvae (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Southern Australia
Most known carrion-breeding species of blowflies in southern Australia are of the genus Calliphora. The morphological similarity of the immatures of these species means that correctly identifying them poses a challenge for forensic entomologists. This study investigates the potential of allozyme analysis to assist with this task. Molecular profiles of third-instar larvae and adults representing four of these carrion-breeding species, Calliphora stygia, C. dubia, C. hilli hilli, and C. vicina, were compared at 42 allozyme loci. The two life stages were found to display almost identical allozyme profiles in each species (93% of loci were expressed in both life history stages), enabling the reliable identification of larvae in these four species. Integration of these results with data from a previous study indicates that allozyme analysis would also be suitable for rapid, species-level identification of the larvae of six other carrion-breeding Calliphora species occurring in southern Australia. This is the first report of the application of allozyme data to the identification of forensically important blowflies.