Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

VanLaerhoven, Shera


blow fly, burnt remains, fire, fitness, ovipositio



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Two local blow fly species, Lucilia sericata Meigen and Phormia regina Meigen (Diptera: Calliphoridae) were used to investigate the effects of burnt carrion on the oviposition behaviour of females and the survival and performance of larvae feeding on these remains. Burnt carrion may be encountered after homicides and forest fires. Increased levels of flame impingement leads to the presence of cracks in the skin and these sites may be suitable for blow fly oviposition. Both species demonstrated a preference for the cracks as oviposition sites. Phormia regina laid more eggs at the cracks, but L. sericata deposited more eggs on the head. Larval survivorship increased with increased flame impingement, despite a significant loss of consumable resource. The performance of the larvae was not affected by the severity of flame impingement, however, both species responded positively to interspecific interactions on burnt remains, resulting in larger adult blow flies.