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A Preliminary Study of Insect Succession in Al‐Ahsaa Oasis, in the Eastern Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Rabbit carcass decomposition was examined in four seasons in Al‐Ahsaa Oasis. Decomposition rate was significantly faster in summer compared with other seasons. Fourteen insect species from four orders and seven families were recorded: Calliphoridae, Muscidae, Sarcophagidae, Formicidae, Histeridae, Dermestidae, and Tenebrionidae. Most of the fly maggots collected were Calliphoridae with only one species from both Muscidae and Sarcophagidae. Maggots of Calliphora vicina (R.‐D.) and Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) colonized the carcasses in all seasons while both Ch. bezziana (Villeneuve) and Lucilia sericata (Meigen) were found in all seasons except for winter. Maggots of Chrysomya megacephala (F.) and Phormia regina (Meigen) were only collected in the summer and autumn, respectively. Four coleopteran species were collected: Hymenorus sp., Saprinus chacites (Illiger), Dermestes maculatus DeGeer and Blaps sp. One formicidian species, Pheidole megacephala (F.), was observed in all seasons. Insect richness was greater, and decomposition rate was faster in summer compared with other seasons.
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Keywords: Coleoptera; Diptera; decomposition; eastern region KSA; forensic entomology; forensic science; insect succession; season

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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