Volume 46, Issue 5 (September 2001)
DNA-Based Identification and Molecular Systematics of Forensically Important Sarcophagidae (Diptera)
Sarcophagid flies have many characteristics that make them ideal forensic indicators. However, their utility is severely limited because it is difficult or impossible to determine the species of a sarcophagid larva, and in many instances an adult specimen, based on anatomy. We developed a database of mitochondrial DNA sequence data that makes it possible to identify all sarcophagid species likely to be found feeding on a human corpse at an urban location in Canada or the USA. Analyses were based on a 783 base pair region of the gene for cytochrome oxidase subunit one (COI). The species analyzed, including some of no forensic importance that were included for purposes of phylogenetic comparisons, were members of the genera Sarcophaga, Peckia, Blaesoxipha, Ravinia, Wohlfahrtia, Brachicoma (all Sarcophagidae), and Musca (Muscidae).