This study describes for the first time the necrophagous insects attracted to carcasses of the European rabbit in the mountains of Al-Baha Province of southwestern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Twenty-four rabbit carcasses were exposed in 2010 during spring (March, April, and May), summer (June, July, and August), and autumn (September, October, and November). The calliphorid fly species, Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy, Chrysomya marginalis (Wiedemann), Chrysomya chloropyga (Wiedemann), Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann), and Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann), the sarcophagid Liosarcophaga babiyari (Lehrer), and muscoid flies Musca domestica (L.) and Musca stabulans Fallén were attracted to the carcasses. Seven species of Coleoptera, the dermestid Dermestes maculatus (De Geer), three species of hister beetles, Saprinus moyses Marseul, Saprinus ruber gemminigeri, and Saprinus chalcites (Illiger), the tenebrionid Himatismus sp., the clerid species, Necrobia ruficollis (F.), and the staphylinid beetle Creophilous maxillosus (L.) were also attracted to the rabbit carcasses. One species of adult pteromalid fly pupal parasitoid Nasonia sp. was also collected. The dominant larvae on all the rabbit carcasses were Ch. albiceps, L. cuprina, and Li. babiyari. Insect activity caused rabbit carcasses to decompose faster during summer (21.38 ± 0.49 d) compared with spring (27.5 ± 0.73 d) and autumn (30.38 ± 0.50 d). This study indicates that in this region of KSA, Ch. albiceps, L. cuprina, and Li. babiyari are species useful for estimating minimal postmortem intervals.
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Vol. 51 • No. 6