Formicidae (Hymenoptera) community in corpses at different altitudes in a semiarid wild environment in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula



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Pérez-Marcos, María and López-Gallego, Elena and Arnaldos, María Isabel and Martínez‐Ibáñez, Dolores and García, María Dolores (2020) Formicidae (Hymenoptera) community in corpses at different altitudes in a semiarid wild environment in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. Entomological Science, 23 . pp. 297-310. ISSN 1479-8298

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The Formicidae are considered crucial components of the entomosarcosaprophagous fauna because they can delay the decomposition process, cause tissue postmortem damage and produce bloodstain patterns that may confuse investigations. Moreover, some studies suggest that the Formicidae can act as environmental and seasonal indicators. However, studies on this group on vertebrate carcasses are scarce, especially in the Iberian Peninsula and the southwest of Europe. Thus, comparative studies at different altitudes in a protected wild mountain area could provide useful information on its composition in such environmental conditions, their role as environmental indicators and their forensic implications. For this reason, the Formicidae sarcosaprophagous community was studied at three different altitudes, between 400 and 1,500 m, in a wild mountainous area in the southeast of Spain using a modified Schoenly trap, with two pitfall traps inside, baited with 5 kg piglets (Sus scrofa L.). This work illustrates an approach to the community of the Formicidae, as a representative of the sarcosaprophagous community in an altitudinal gradient, showing a great variability in its composition. Furthermore, when comparing our results with other studies carried out in the Iberian Peninsula, we are able to suggest certain species with a potential utility as geographic and environmental indicators. Thus, Iberoformica subrufa, Lasius brunneus, Lasius cinereus and Camponotus sylvaticus are species of special interest as they appeared in either one of the sampled areas or in the same region.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:altitudinal gradient, ant, decomposition process, environmental indicator, forensic entomology, Schoenly trap
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
Medical sciences > Biology > Insects
ID Code:63640
Deposited On:18 Jan 2021 19:18
Last Modified:19 Jan 2021 07:49

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