Forensic Entomologist Discovers Chinese Migrant Fly in Europe


According to a new study, Dr Stefano Vanin found a Chinese migrant fly on cadavers in Italy for the first time, but the insect is currently also being found in Spain and Portugal. An insect which was mainly seen in China and in South America, but now it’s been found in Europe. The study of these insects would help the Forensic entomologists who are involved in investigating death time by studying the infestation of human cadavers. Dr Stefano Vanin with his associates are investigating about the insects.

The study found out that climate change and the globalization of trade were the two factors for the migration of the fly, Synthesiomyia nudiseta. The insect has been found in Spain, Portugal and southern Italy in the recent years, but currently it’s been detected in cadavers in the Genoa district of North West Italy.

In the new study, Dr Vanin had examined five case studies of dead bodies found in houses in Genoa. Their ages ranged from 51 to 89, and the deceases were believed to be natural. Larvae and pupae of S. nudiseta were discovered in each cadaver.

To find out how a tropical insect migrate to Northern Italy, Dr. Vanin with his associates acquired samples of the Genoese flies and conducted DNA analysis, comparing the genealogy of the Italian insects with that of Chinese specimens. This concluded that the insects had arrived directly from China. The DNA results are reinforced as Genoa being a large port, most trading carried with China.

Dr. Vanin highlights that global warming plays a major role to disperse insect species. "If the insects had arrived 20 years ago, they would have died. But the average temperature in Genoa, as in the whole Europe, has increased by about two degrees and is now a good temperature for this species," he elaborated.

Dr. Vanin added that in addition to forensic significance of the spread of S. nudiseta, these could increase the risk of transmission of disease as these species lack in competitor in Europe. More research has to be done on the distribution of the insect within Europe and Dr Vanin is willing to carry out a new research related to it.