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Blow flies from the family Calliphoridae, specifically Lucilia sericata, are important for both forensic science and medicinal applications. They serve as agents for post-mortem interval (PMI) estimation in forensics, and are used for maggot debridement therapy (MDT) in medicine. Forensic entomologists currently use several different methods for culture of organisms in laboratory settings. A common streamlined laboratory culture protocol for L. sericata would provide the entomology community a common basis for comparison of studies involving genetics, PMI estimation, and organism culture for medical uses. This study compares and reviews several common, simple diets and the effects of each diet on the survivorship and fecundity of L. sericata. The flies were cultured at 26 degrees Celsius, 30-40% humidity, on a 12 hour light/dark cycle, and fed one of nine diets. Analyses of the data revealed that the life span of the flies was extended, and a greater number of eggs per oviposition event were produced by females, when the organisms were fed a diet of honey water and bovine liver. We propose the use of this two-part diet as an optimal diet for laboratory culture of L. sericata.

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Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Karolyn M. Hansen

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

A Comparison of Common Diets for the Laboratory Culture of the Green Bottle Fly, Lucilia sericata