Sex- and Size-Related Patterns of Carrion Visitation in Necrodes littoralis (Coleoptera: Silphidae) and Creophilus maxillosus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

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Abstract

The estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) based on successional patterns of adult insects is largely limited, due to the lack of potential PMI markers. Sex and size of adult insects could be easily used for such estimation. In this study, sex- and size-related patterns of carrion attendance by adult insects were analyzed in Necrodes littoralis (Coleoptera: Silphidae) and Creophilus maxillosus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). For both species, abundance of males and females changed similarly during decomposition. A slightly female-biased sex ratio was recorded in N. littoralis. Females of N. littoralis started visiting carcasses, on average, one day earlier than males. There was a rise in size of males of N. littoralis at the end of decomposition, whereas for females of both species and males of C. maxillosus, no size-related patterns of carrion visitation were found. Current results demonstrate that size and sex of adult carrion beetles are poor indicators of PMI.

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