Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (2): 187-196, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.029

Ancient and modern hybridization between Lucilia sericata and L. cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Kirstin WILLIAMS1,2, Martin H. VILLET2
1 Durban Natural Science Museum, PO Box 4085, Durban, 4000, South Africa; e-mail: WilliamsK@durban.gov.za
2 Southern African Forensic Entomology Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa; e-mail: M.Villet@ru.ac.za

There are important but inconsistent differences in breeding site preference between the blow flies Lucilia sericata (Meigen, 1826) and L. cuprina (Wiedemann, 1830) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) that have significance for medical and veterinary science. These inconsistencies might arise from hybridisation. The species are difficult to distinguish using external morphology, although the male genitalia are distinctive and there are reliable molecular markers. Molecular evidence of modern hybridisation, derived from a newly developed nuclear marker, the period (per) gene, is presented here. This has implications for identifications of these species based on mtDNA, and may lead to an explanation of the medical and veterinary anomalies noted in these species.

Keywords: Diptera, Calliphoridae, Lucilia sericata, L. cuprina, hybrids, mDNA, phylogenetic, taxonomy, introgression

Received: May 31, 2012; Accepted: November 19, 2012; Published: April 11, 2013

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