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Volume 2009, Article ID 575362, 7 pages
Research Article

Blow Flies Visiting Decaying Alligators: Is Succession Synchronous or Asynchronous?

1Department of Biology, University of South Alabama, Life Sciences Building, Room 124, 307 University Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36688, USA
2Center for Vector Biology, Department of Entomology, Rutgers University-School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, 180 Jones Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

Received 12 May 2008; Revised 27 August 2008; Accepted 15 September 2008

Academic Editor: Martin H. Villet

Copyright © 2009 Mark P. Nelder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Succession patterns of adult blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on decaying alligators were investigated in Mobile (Ala, USA) during August 2002. The most abundant blow fly species visiting the carcasses were Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart), Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricus), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricus), Phormia regina (Meigen), and Lucilia coeruleiviridis (Macquart). Lucilia coeruleiviridis was collected more often during the early stages of decomposition, followed by Chrysomya spp., Cochliomyia macellaria, and Phormia regina in the later stages. Lucilia coeruleiviridis was the only synchronous blow fly on the three carcasses; other blow fly species exhibited only site-specific synchrony. Using dichotomous correlations and analyses of variance, we demonstrated that blow fly-community succession was asynchronous among three alligators; however, Monte Carlo simulations indicate that there was some degree of synchrony between the carcasses.