Ultramorphological characteristics of mature larvae of Nitidula carnaria (Schaller 1783) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), a beetle species of forensic importance

Beetles of the genus Nitidula Fabricius are forensically important, and their adults and larvae have been found associated with human corpses and animal carcasses in many places of the world. The external morphology of the larvae of Nitidula carnaria (Schaller 1783) was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to provide a description enabling identification of this forensically important species. The ultrastructure of the head was examined, antennae, mandibles, epipharynx, maxillary and labial palpi, spiracles, thorax, legs, and abdominal segments (especially segments 9 and 10); the tegument was also emphasised in this examination. Several types of sensilla were observed on the maxillary and labial palpi, including sensilla basiconica, sensilla styloconica, and perhaps a different type of sensilla digitiformia. In abdominal segment 10, a sensilla campaniformia was observed. Two types of plates were noticed in the abdominal tegument. The characteristics described here can be used to identify this species. No other study of the ultrastructure of Nitidulidae larvae is available for comparison. This is the first report of N. carnaria in carcasses in Chile. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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