Allissa M. Blystone, Brian W. Skura, Casey T. Walk



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Lucilia sericata, the green bottle fly, is a forensically important insect species used in determination of the post-mortem interval (PMI) for deceased individuals. Anecdotal evidence indicates that females and males may utilize the decaying organic material differently. Reports suggest that females utilize the organic material as a food and egg-laying resource while males are present on the periphery of the site rather than on the organic material. In the present study we hypothesize that L. sericata males and females behave differently with respect to organic material resource utilization. Protein (organic material) is a required dietary component for female flies for completion of sexual development, vitellogenesis, and the production of sex pheromones while a dietary protein requirement for males has not been elucidated. Flies were maintained in mixed colonies (both males and females present) and colonies were monitored over 24 hour cycles using a Sony Handycam video recorder with night-vision capabilities. Preliminary data reveal that L. sericata, regardless of sex, are inactive during the dark (night) cycle. Females visited the protein source more frequently than males during the light (day) cycle. These results suggest that L. sericata exhibits sexually dimorphic behavior during the daylight hours with respect to protein utilization.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Karolyn M. Hansen

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

Temporal Analysis of Behavior of Male and Female Lucilia sericata Blow Flies Using Videography