Necrophagous insects play an important role in the decomposition of vertebrate carrion. The documented colonization, development, and succession of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and other arthropods on decomposing carcasses make their communities relevant for use in decomposition ecology and forensic investigations. This relevance relies on the local pool of species available to colonize a carcass, but such community level survey data are not always available. The objective of this research was to conduct a baseline survey of adult Calliphoridae communities from urban–rural land use types in the Great Lakes region. To test how adult blow fly distribution varies with changing landscape in Mid-Michigan, sampling with baited jars and hanging traps was implemented over the summer months of June, July, and August 2017. To determine how blow fly communities differed in urban to rural land cover, seven cities were selected with site locations ranging from high intensity developed areas to cultivated crop fields. Over 97,000 individual flies were captured represented by 11 Calliphoridae species. The adult Calliphoridae communities were primarily structured by land use type and month of collection, with these two factors interacting, suggesting that the effect of location varied by time of year. The two most abundant species, Phormia regina (Meigen) and Lucilia sericata (Meigen), cumulatively comprised 88.5% adult flies from Mid-Michigan. These findings provide a baseline database of Great Lakes Calliphoridae, with potential use in forensic research and casework.
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Vol. 57 • No. 3