Forensic entomologists rely on laboratory growth data to estimate the time of colonization on human remains thus extrapolating a minimum postmortem interval (PMI) if assumptions are satisfied. The flesh fly Blaesoxipha plinthopyga (Wiedemann) is one species that occurs in casework in Idaho, Texas, and central California. Because of the few laboratory studies on the development of this fly, the following study was conducted to determine if different substrates impact immature development of the species. In this study, flies were reared on different substrates that are likely to be encountered at indoor and outdoor scenes (Wet Sand, Dry Sand, Clothes [Polyester fibers], and Carpet [Polypropylene fibers]) to determine the influence of substrate on larval, intrapuparial, and total immature development times at 25°C, 50% RH, and 14:10 (L:D) h cycle. The results revealed that substrate significantly affected minimum immature development times without affecting the sexes differently; though a female bias in sex ratio was observed consistently. Average minimum larval developmental times were 160–179 h with a significantly faster development in Carpet than in Clothes. Similarly, average minimum intrapuparial developmental times were 331–352 h; fastest on Carpet and the slowest in Dry Sand. For this species, it may be important to consider the substrates encountered at a death scene as they may affect the development of B. plinthopyga (Wiedemann) in casework by up to 29 h at 25°C and 50% humidity. These effects will also be important to consider when planning future development studies with the species.
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Vol. 57 • No. 6