Notes on necrophagous flies (Diptera: Calyptratae) associated to fish carrion in Colombian Amazon

Notas sobre moscas necrófagas (Diptera: Caliptratae) associadas a carcaças de peixe na Amazônia Colombiana

Abstracts

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of studies on carrion fly communities due to their medical importance and as a consequence of the large number of studies on forensic entomology. Surprisingly few studies have adressed with the asynantropic flies of the Amazon, and none were done in Colombia. A faunistic study of asynantropic flies of the families Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae and Fannidae in three different landscapes of the Colombian Amazon is presented, trapping effectiveness is assessed, and the first record of Mesembrinella batesi (Aldrich, 1922) and Fannia femoralis (Stein, 1897) from Colombia is reported.

Faunistic survey; non parametric estimators; Richness; Abundance; Modified Trap


Apesar de existir uma quantidade considerável de estudos sobre dípteros decompositores devido a sua importância medica e ao avanço da entomologia forense, poucos dizem respeito as moscas asinantrópicas na Amazônia e nada foi feito na Colômbia. No presente trabalho é feito um estudo faunístico sobre moscas, principalmente das famílias Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae e Fanniidae em três diferentes paisagens da Amazônia Colombiana, além do primeiro registro das espécies Mesembrinella batesi (Aldrich, 1922) e Fannia femoralis (Stein, 1897) para Colômbia e avaliação da amostragem utilizada.

levantamento faunístico; Estimadores não paramétricos; Riqueza; Abundância; Armadilha modificada


NOTAS E COMUNICAÇÕES

Notes on necrophagous flies (Diptera: Calyptratae) associated to fish carrion in Colombian Amazon

Notas sobre moscas necrófagas (Diptera: Caliptratae) associadas a carcaças de peixe na Amazônia Colombiana

Eduardo AMAT

Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, INPA - E-mail: ecamat@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of studies on carrion fly communities due to their medical importance and as a consequence of the large number of studies on forensic entomology. Surprisingly few studies have adressed with the asynantropic flies of the Amazon, and none were done in Colombia. A faunistic study of asynantropic flies of the families Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae and Fannidae in three different landscapes of the Colombian Amazon is presented, trapping effectiveness is assessed, and the first record of Mesembrinella batesi (Aldrich, 1922) and Fannia femoralis (Stein, 1897) from Colombia is reported.

KEY WORDS: Faunistic survey, non parametric estimators, Richness, Abundance, Modified Trap

RESUMO

Apesar de existir uma quantidade considerável de estudos sobre dípteros decompositores devido a sua importância medica e ao avanço da entomologia forense, poucos dizem respeito as moscas asinantrópicas na Amazônia e nada foi feito na Colômbia. No presente trabalho é feito um estudo faunístico sobre moscas, principalmente das famílias Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae e Fanniidae em três diferentes paisagens da Amazônia Colombiana, além do primeiro registro das espécies Mesembrinella batesi (Aldrich, 1922) e Fannia femoralis (Stein, 1897) para Colômbia e avaliação da amostragem utilizada.

PALAVRAS-CHAVE: levantamento faunístico, Estimadores não paramétricos, Riqueza, Abundância, Armadilha modificada.

The decomposing activity of bacteria, fungi and carrion animal feedings is the main process by which nutrients are released and recycled from dead animals. Arthropods and mainly carrion feeding insects represent the most conspicuous element in this process (Nuorteva, 1977; Hanski, 1987). The role of necrophagous flies is ecologically important given their predominance, these community assemblages are very complex and highly competitive, usually dominated by one to three species (Hanski, 1987; Ives, 1991).

In recent years, studies on carrion flies have increase. However, these studies have focused on synantropic environments and dealt mainly with faunal succession, lifecycles and species growth rates (Richards, 2001). Few known studies have been made from asynantropic conservation areas of the Amazonian rain forest e.g., Paraluppi (1992); Esposito, (1999) on blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Knowledge of necrophagous flies in the Colombian Amazon is sparse and consists mainly of isolated records of a few species: Guimaraes (1977) reported six species of Mesembrinellinae, Baumgartner & Greenberg (1984) reported the blowfly Chrysomya putoria in Leticia for the first time in Colombia; and recently Pape et al (2005) reported Hemilucilia segmentaria, Chloroprocta idioidea and seventeen species of flesh flies (Diptera:Sarcophagidae). Finally, Fannia obscurinervis (Diptera: Fannidae) hasbeen reported in the Colombian Amazon by Carvalho et al (2003) and Couri & Winagraski (2005).

The study was carried out at the Biological Station "El Zafire" National University of Colombia (Leticia branch) located at 04°00’18’’ S, y 69°54’45’’W, altitude 146 m.

Three different environments within the Amazon rain forest were surveyed: a firm land forest (L), a flood plain forest (F) and a white sand forest (W). In each site, three traps made from plastic PET bottles (Figure 1, further details in Ferreira, 1978) were set up 2 m above ground along a transect of 1500 m. Traps were baited with a one day old fish head in decomposition and specimens were collected every 12 hours during a period of 48 hours. Species accumulation curves and non-parametric estimators of total species richness ICE and Chao2 generated by StimateS 7.5 (Colwell, 2005) to assess the sampling efficiency and representatition of the sampling. Kruskall-Wallis test were used for difference in abundance and richness among habitat. Specimens were identified using Chillcott (1961), Guimarães (1977), Couri & Winagraski (2005), Amat et al (2008) and Pape & Dahlem (in press). Specimens were deposited in the entomological collection of the Instituto Alexander von Humboldt [IAvH] Villa de Leiva, Boyacá, Colombia.

A total of 1266 flies representing 19 species and 4 families was recorded. Calliphoridae was the most abundant family (N=693, 54.7%), while Sarcophagidae showed the highest species richness values (8 species). The most abundant species was Chloroprocta idioidea (N=540, 42%) and this report is consistent with findings by Esposito (1999) in Brazilian Amazon. Fourteen species (N=431 individuals) were found associated with flood land forest, 13 species (N=583 individuals) with firm land forest and 14 species (N=297 individuals) with white land forest.

Eight species (42%) were found in all the sites, 6 species (31%) were found in two sites and 5 species (21%) were present in only one site. Approximately 71% of specimens were females (Table 1).

Additionaly, this is the first record of Mesembrinella batesi (Aldrich, 1922) and Fannia femoralis (Stein, 1897) in Colombia, which were collected in our study. Dissection of male genitalia from Fannia sp. 1 revealed that the specimens did not match any previous description, what suggest that this species is possibly a new.

For the non-parametric ICE and Chao 2 indexes we estimated a total of 22 and 20 species respectively, and observed (a conservative richness of 19) that S was higher than previously reported for carrion fly communities (up to 10 common species; Ives, 1991). According to these indexes, we conclude that few species (10% according most strict estimator) were not collected by this trapping method. We suggest that more than 108 hours of trapping effort or more traps are necessary for assessing similar transects and habitats. There was no significant difference in abundance (Kruskall-Wallis, P=0.983) or richness (Kruskall-Wallis, P=0.462) among the three sites. Apparently these families with species of high dispersion capacity (Greenberg, 1973) do not show fidelity according to the type of habitat within the forest. However, most of the Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae and Fannidae species collected were reported as asynantropic except for Fannia obscurnervis, which prefers environments inhabited by man (Carvalho, 2002). Our results suggest that there is a high number of species making up the carrion fly community and possibly they are restricted to continuous and preserved areas of rain forest. These species have a high rate of dispersion and broad habitat preferences. Unfortunately, there is no information available about synantropic flies in closed urban environments (around the cities of Leticia and Tabatinga) to make relevant local comparisons. Many physical, ecological and biological factors will affect the assemblage patterns of these complex communities (Hanski, 1987) which remain largely unknown for most habitat in the Amazonian forest.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I thank Mauricio Alvarez from the Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt; Maria Cristina Peñuela from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Leticia and the director of the Biological Station "El Zafire" for logistics support; Luis Edier Franco, Ever Kuiro and Sara Milena Florez for their assistance during field work; Eliana Buenaventura for her valuable help sorting and identifying flesh flies. Thomas Pape, Orou Gaoue and two anonymous reviewers for manuscript suggestions.

LITERATURE CITED

Recebido em 02/02/2009

Aceito em 09/12/2009

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    19 Aug 2010
  • Date of issue
    2010

History

  • Received
    02 Feb 2009
  • Accepted
    09 Dec 2009
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