Description of Larval Instars To Fill a Gap in Forensic Entomology: The Larvae of Paralucilia pseudolyrcea (Diptera: Calliphoridae).
A fundamental assumption of forensic entomology for estimating the postmortem interval is that insect species are accurately identified, which depends on diagnostic morphological characters. Larvae of the blow fly Paralucilia pseudolyrcea (Mello, 1969) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) were sampled from four corpses in the state of Paraná, Brazil, but despite the forensic importance of this species, morphological data for the identification of its larval instars are lacking, limiting its usefulness in such cases. Thus, the main goal of this study was to describe the larval instars of P. pseudolyrcea. The material was obtained from a colony established by larvae collected from a corpse of a murder case. Overall, the distribution of spines is a key character for identifying this species in the first, second and third instars. Other characteristics, such as the presence of an accessory oral sclerite, the small cirri, the number of lobes of the anterior spiracle and the morphology of posterior spiracles, separates P. pseudolyrcea from other necrophagous blow flies. The detailed morphological description provided here facilitates the identification of larval instars of P. pseudolyrcea and their differentiation from those of other calliphorid species.