Identification Key to the Common Forensically Important Adult Flies (Diptera) of Northern Kentucky

Regina M. Cutter

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Greg Dahlem

Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY



        This website will assist researchers wishing to identify the common forensically important flies (Order: Diptera) found in and around the Northern Kentucky Campus. The Northern Kentucky University campus is located in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Numerous flies were collected and identified during the summer of 2004. Most of these flies were collected on or reared from pieces of raw chicken.

        A description of basic fly anatomy and an introduction to the important structures used in identification purposes can be viewed under the "Fly Anatomy" link below. To begin identification, first determine whether the fly is calyptrate or acalyptrate [refer to the link, "Characteristics of Calyptrate Diptera."] Once a fly is identified as a calyptrate, identification to the family level is possible by following the "Identification Key to Calyptrate Diptera" below. If the fly is identified to be in the family Calliphoridae there is an identification key to species level under the link "Identification Key to Calliphoridae Species." If any of the other families were identified, additional resources will be needed to determine more specific information.

        The images on this website were taken with an Olympus DP12 digital camera attached to a Olympus SZ40 dissecting microscope. A computer program, ImageJ, modified by the Northern Kentucky University Department of Mathematics and Computer Science was used to fuse together 2-10 images at different focal depths to produce a more focused image. Samples of these images can be viewed by following the link titled "Image Information" below.