Successional patterns of necrophilous beetles on domestic pig carcasses in urban and sylvan areas during spring and summer

Anatole Patzak
2011 unpublished
Successional patterns of necrophilous beetles (Coleoptera) on medium sized, clothed and exposed domestic pig carcasses (Sus scrofa Linnaeus) were studied on four sites in and around Vienna, Austria (16° 22´E, 48° 12´N) during two trials comprising spring (76 days) and summer (86 days) 2009. Two of these sites were located in the urban areas of the city, two in the large woods flanking it westward. So far only one study on arthropod succession has been conducted in Vienna (Grassberger and Frank,
more » ... 2004). It was limited to the urban area, on one site and its main focus was on flies (Diptera). The objective of present study was to provide baseline information on the coleoptera of forensic importance in order to be able to estimate postmortem interval (PMI) in cases of human death in these regions. The research questions are as follows: Which species compose the carrion beetle fauna of urban and forest study sites in and around the city of Vienna? Can the present findings on the carrion succession be confirmed by other studies? Are there differences between the carrion beetle fauna of the urban and the forest study sites? Are there differences between the carrion beetle fauna of spring and summer? A minimum of 50 species, belonging to 10 families of forensic importance (mainly Scarabaeidae, Staphylinidae, Histeridae, Silphidae, Cleridae and Dermestidae) collected manually, in pitfall traps and in traps underneath a three centimeter layer of earth and grass roots below the carcasses, have been identified. Ambient temperature, internal carrion temperature and rainfall also were measured. Five stages of decomposition were recognized, influenced by season, the distinct precipitation pattern and varying arthropod successions. The number of species in the course of decomposition increased from the fresh stage, reached a maximum in the overlap of the active and advanced decay stages, and from there on declined gradually until the end of the study trials in the dry/remains stage. More species and individuals were collected in [...]
doi:10.25365/thesis.13490 fatcat:2ya3uy7znngytapwluzc2tppmi