Journal article Open Access

Wing geometric morphometrics as a tool for taxonomic identification of two fly species (Diptera: Muscidae) of forensic relevance

José Antonio Nuñez; Pablo Jarrín-V; Jonathan Liria


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    <subfield code="a">Muscomorpha, Calyptratae, forensic entomology, landmarks.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">Research Group on Population and Environment, Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam, Napo, Ecuador.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">Center of Studies in Applied Zoology, Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela.</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Jonathan Liria</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">Department of Morphological and Forensic Sciences. School of Biomedical and Technological Sciences. Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">José Antonio Nuñez</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Wing geometric morphometrics as a tool for taxonomic identification of two fly species (Diptera: Muscidae) of forensic relevance</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;The taxonomic identification of fly species through wing geometry is a helpful tool for entomologists and&lt;br&gt;
officials involved in forensic research, who not necessarily require expertise on insect taxonomy.&lt;br&gt;
Members of the Muscidae family are relevant sources of evidence in forensic entomology; however,&lt;br&gt;
developing countries often lack experts in the taxonomical identification of essential species for the&lt;br&gt;
assessment of aspects such as the minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). Our study proposes a low-cost,&lt;br&gt;
fast, and technologically-accessible quantitative tool for the identification of Atherigona orientalis and&lt;br&gt;
Ophyra aenescens, associated with human corpses at advanced states of decomposition. We propose a tool&lt;br&gt;
that is based on the geometric variability observed in eight homologous landmarks on wing veins and the&lt;br&gt;
interpretation of morphometric estimates after a generalized Procrustes analysis. The use of a geometric&lt;br&gt;
approach for effective discrimination between Atherigona orientalis and Ophyra aenescens was supported&lt;br&gt;
by statistically significant differences in wing conformation and size. The evidence presented in this study&lt;br&gt;
shows that the analysis of geometric variability in the wing morphology of species of forensic relevance&lt;br&gt;
can contribute to simple and objective species identification. Geometric morphometrics is a simple and&lt;br&gt;
readily available tool for forensic science.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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