Characterization and Identification of Puparia of Hydrotaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 (Diptera Muscidae) from Forensic and Archaeological Contexts

Giorgia Giordani, Andrzej Grzywacz, Stefano Vanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Flies and beetles are the main components of the entomofauna colonizing a body after death. Following the recognition of constant and predictable colonization patterns and the knowledge about the dependence of the insect development to temperature, a new discipline, forensic entomology, has provided information useful to reconstruct criminal events. Funerary archaeoentomology has also applied the same rationale in archaeological contexts. Puparia represent a large fraction of the insect remains that can be found associated with a cadaver, especially when the body is mummified or in the advanced stages of decomposition. Puparium identification is still a problematic topic due to the lack of identification keys and, in several cases, a lack of diagnostic feature descriptions. Here, we focus the attention on some Hydrotaea Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera, Muscidae) puparia from forensic and archaeological contexts. Puparia of Hydrotaea capensis (Wiedemann), Hydrotaea ignava (Harris), Hydrotaea aenescens (Wiedemann), Hydrotaea similis Meade, Hydrotaea pilipes Stein, and Hydrotaea dentipes (Fabricius) are here detailed and illustrated. Posterior spiracles, anal plate, and intersegmental spines have been considered as good diagnostic characters for the identification of these puparia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number1
Early online date22 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019


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