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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • forensic entomology;
  • Chrysomya albiceps;
  • Calliphoridae;
  • spread;
  • forensic implications

Abstract:  Habitat selection exploited by Chrysomya albiceps during its initial spread in Northern Italy was analyzed in relation to landscape structure. The results of two short studies and a case report are here discussed. C. albiceps was not found on experimental pig carcasses in the urban area of Pavia. It was missing in the woody mountains surrounding Lecco, but it was found in the same area, at a lower altitude, within the typical “urban sprawl” landscape. It was then recorded in a natural reserve, among a rich carrion-fly population. Indications coming from habitat selection suggest that C. albiceps has not yet saturated its potential ecological niche in newly colonized areas of Northern Italy. Factors like temperature, altitude, and interspecific competition can act as limiting factors, affecting habitat selection and distribution in newly colonized areas; the influence of those factors has to be taken into account for forensic purposes.