Effect of Water Submersion on Cochliomyia macellaria (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Eggs


  • Lindsay Akers Texas A&M University


Cochliomyia macellaria is a significant species in forensic entomology when accurately determining time of death by using postmortem interval. The larvae participate in secondary myiasis when feeding on the decaying tissue of deceased organisms. Variables such as temperature and location can either speed up or slow down the development of C. macellaria, which need to be taken into account when determining an accurate time of death. Eggs of C. macellaria were collected, submerged in water for varying amounts of time, and observed in order to see if exposure to water caused them to die before hatching. It was found that eggs soaked for one minute had the highest percentage survive. Eggs soaked for zero, two, and five minutes had slightly less survive, while eggs soaked for seven and ten minutes saw a significant decrease in survival. These results will not only assist forensic entomologists when determining time of death, but will also give a better understanding about which habitats this species is most likely to be found in.