Lucilia Cuprina - Ongoing Research

Ongoing Research

Current research involving Lucilia cuprina and other Lucilia species range from identifying genetic variation between the different species to the ultrastructure of flies’ eggs. Egg ultrastructure has recently become exceedingly important in the field of forensic science. It is used to distinguish L. cuprina eggs from other Lucilia species, such as Lucilia illustris and Lucilia sericata. This defining feature becomes relevant when determining the post-mortem interval because it will vary with each species. Other ongoing research includes bacteria and fungi associated with the insect. Numerous studies have been conducted to determine if the fly is a mechanical vector of bacteria. So far, many have been found only to be carriers and cannot transmit disease. There have also been studies on the taxonomic grouping of Lucilia based on geography. The use of RAPD (Random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis) and mitochondrial DNA sequencing has been used to investigate genetic variation within the species.

Lucilia cuprina is a commonly used species in the field of forensic entomology. The information known about the species designates L. cuprina as a helpful resource at crime scenes as well as a nuisance to sheep. Ongoing research is constantly finding more effective ways to put the species to use.

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