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See detailDepths and type of substrate influence the ability of Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to encounter host
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Journal of Insect Science [=JIS] (2014)

The foraging behaviour of a parasitoid insect species includes the host’s habitat and subsequent location of the host. Habitats-substrate, substrate moisture and light levels can affect the host location ... [more ▼]

The foraging behaviour of a parasitoid insect species includes the host’s habitat and subsequent location of the host. Habitats-substrate, substrate moisture and light levels can affect the host location made by different species of parasitoids. However, the depth at which parasitoids concentrate their search effort is an another important ecological characteristic and play an important role on the host location. Here, we have investigated the ability of a pupal parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker, to penetrate and kill fly pupae located at different depth of the substrate. Three different types of substrate were tested: loam soil, compost and vermiculite substrate. In both loam soil and compost, all of the parasitism activity was restricted to pupae placed directly on the surface. Parasitism activity in vermiculite showed that the average number of pupae parasitized was decreased with depth. These results suggest that fly pupae situated deeper in the substrate are less subjected to parasitism by N. vitripennis. [less ▲]

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See detailHost-habitat location by the parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2014), 59

This study investigated the role of odorant cues used during host-habitat location by the generalist parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker. N vitripennis is a common parasitoid of Dipteran pupae found in ... [more ▼]

This study investigated the role of odorant cues used during host-habitat location by the generalist parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker. N vitripennis is a common parasitoid of Dipteran pupae found in association with decaying carrion. Behavioral assays were used to investigate the host-habitat searching behavior under different scenarios. First, we demonstrated N. vitripennis to be significantly attracted toward odorant cues associated with decaying meat. The biological activity of nine of the volatile molecules constituting the odor of decaying meat were tested on the searching behavior of parasitoid females through two complementary chemoecological approaches: electronantennography (EAG) and olfactometry bioassays. Butanoic acid and butan-1-ol elicited high olfactory responses, but no attraction was induced by these two chemicals. Behavioral assays showed that, among the VOCs tested, methyldisulfanylmethane (DMDS) was the only volatile chemical to induce attraction in N. vitripennis. [less ▲]

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See detailAssociative learning of Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) to methyldisulfanylmethane
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg; Brostaux, Yves ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2014)

Traditional methods of volatile detection used by police typically consist of reliance on canine olfaction. However, dogs have some limitations such as cost of training and time of conditioning. The ... [more ▼]

Traditional methods of volatile detection used by police typically consist of reliance on canine olfaction. However, dogs have some limitations such as cost of training and time of conditioning. The possibility of using parasitic wasps for detecting explosives and narcotics has been developed. Moreover, wasps are cheap to produce and can be conditioned with impressive speed for a specific chemical-detection task. We examined the ability of Nasonia vitripennis Walker to learn and respond to methydisulfanylmethane (DMDS), a volatile discriminator of cadaver. The training aimed to form an association between an unconditioned stimulus (pupae) and the conditioned stimulus (odor source). After the training, the time spent of conditioned wasps in the DMDS chamber was measured. Statistical analysis showed that the increasing concentrations involved an increase in the time spent in the chamber containing DMDS. This study indicates that N. vitripennis can respond to DMDS, which provide further support for its development as a biological sensor. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity of forensic rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) associated with decaying pig carcass in a forest biotope
Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Frederickx, Christine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2013)

Most forensic studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization while neglecting Coleoptera succession. So far, little information is available on the postmortem colonization by beetles and the ... [more ▼]

Most forensic studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization while neglecting Coleoptera succession. So far, little information is available on the postmortem colonization by beetles and the decomposition process they initiate under temperate biogeoclimatic countries. These beetles have however been referred to as being part of the entomofaunal colonization of a dead body. Forensic entomologists need increased databases detailing the distribution, ecology and phenology of necrophagous insects, including staphylinids (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). While pig carcasses are commonly used in forensic entomology studies to surrogate human decomposition and to investigate the entomofaunal succession, very few works have been conducted in Europe on large carcasses. Our work reports the monitoring of the presence of adult rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) on decaying pig carcasses in a forest biotope during four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter). A total of 23 genera comprising 60 species of rove beetles were collected from pig carcasses. [less ▲]

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See detailElectrophysiological and behavioural responses of Thanatophilus sinuatus F. (Coleoptera: Silphidae) to selected cadaveric volatile organic compounds
Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Frederickx, Christine ULg; Lognay, Georges ULg et al

in Journal of Forensic Sciences (2013)

Soon after death, carcasses release volatile chemicals that attract carrion insects including Silphidae. Nevertheless, it is not known which chemical cues are involved in the attractiveness of the carcass ... [more ▼]

Soon after death, carcasses release volatile chemicals that attract carrion insects including Silphidae. Nevertheless, it is not known which chemical cues are involved in the attractiveness of the carcass. So far, little information is available on the chemical ecology of carrion beetles, particularly concerning the subfamily of Silphinae. The biological role of selected cadaveric volatile organic compounds including: dimethyldisulfide (DMDS), butan-1-ol, n-butanoic acid, indole, phenol, p-cresol, putrescine, and cadaverine on the silphine species, Thanatophilus sinuatus Fabricius, was investigated by using both electrophysiological and behavioural techniques. Among the tested cadaveric compounds, butan-1-ol and DMDS elicited the strongest EAG from both T. sinuatus male and female antennae. In a two-arm olfactometer, males and females were significantly attracted to dimethyldisulfide (DMDS) for both tested doses, whereas only males were attracted to p-cresol at 100 ng. Putrescine was repellent to males at the dose of 1 µg [less ▲]

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See detailThe community of Hymenoptera parasitizing necrophagous Diptera in an urban biotope
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Journal of Insect Science [=JIS] (2013), 13(32),

Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology are focused on Diptera and neglect the Hymenoptera community. However, Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal colonisation of a dead body. The ... [more ▼]

Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology are focused on Diptera and neglect the Hymenoptera community. However, Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal colonisation of a dead body. The use of Hymenoptera parasitoids in forensic entomology can be relevant to evaluate the time of death. Hymenoptera parasitoids of the larvae and pupae of flies may play an important role in the estimation of the post-mortem period, because their time of attack is often restricted to a small, well-defined windows of time in the development of the host insect. However, these parasitoids can interfere with the developmental times of colonising Diptera, and therefore a better understanding of their ecology is needed. The work reported here monitored the presence of adult Hymenoptera parasitoids on decaying pig carcasses in an urban biotope during the summer season (from May to September). Six families and six species were recorded in the field: Aspilota fuscicornis Haliday, Alysia manducator Panzer, Nasonia vitripennis Walker, Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead, Trichopria sp., and Figites sp. In the laboratory, five species emerged from pupae collected in the field: Trichopria sp., Figites sp., A. manducator, N. vitripennis, and T. zealandicus. These five species colonise a broad spectrum of Diptera hosts, including those species associated with decomposing carcasses: Calliphoridae, Muscidae, Fanniidae, and Sarcophagidae [less ▲]

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See detailEtude chémo-écologique et comportementale du parasitoïde, Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hym., Pteromalidae), en vue de son utilisation comme biodétecteur en entomologie forensique
Frederickx, Christine ULg

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology are focused on Diptera, mostly on Calliphoridae. However, Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal colonisation of a dead body. Despite their ... [more ▼]

Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology are focused on Diptera, mostly on Calliphoridae. However, Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal colonisation of a dead body. Despite their significant presence in crime scenes, parasitoids are largely ignored due to their small size and the paucity of biological and behavioral information available in the ecosystem of corpse. The use of Hymenoptera parasitoids in forensic entomology can be relevant to many applications such as development of a biodectector. The objectives of this thesis were (1) to identify the Hymenoptera community parasitizing necrophagous Diptera, (2) to identify volatile organic compounds emitted by decaying process and by hosts which facilitate host-habitat and host location by female Nasonia vitripennis Walker (3) to evaluate the species N. vitripennis as biodectector of corpses. The faunistic study has identified five species of Hymenoptera in cadaver ecosystem. Alysia manducator was the most abundant Braconidae species. However, N. vitripennis was chosen as insect model; because over the last 50 years, this wasp has been intensely investigated in the subject of genetic, ecological and evolutionary research. A chemo-ecological approach, combining EAG and behavioral studies, was used on N. vitripennis with selected compounds from the decay process and their hosts. Firstly, we have demonstrated that host- habitat location and host location were dependent on the concentration of volatile organic compounds tested. In addition, dimethyldisulfide, a key component of decomposition and also released by Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera, Calliphoridae) pupae, has a biological activity. Secondly, we have showed that rate of parasitism was based on the age of pupa, depth and substrate in which larvae burrow. This rate is the most important when pupae were six day-old, on the surface of soil and in a soil with a granulometry greater than 1mm. Moreover, N. vitripennis expanded our potential resource in biosensor used in forensic science. Females demonstrated a capacity for learning and memory. [less ▲]

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See detailHymenoptera community of pig carcasse in an urban biotope
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

Poster (2012, February 10)

Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization and are neglecting Hymenoptera succession. Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal ... [more ▼]

Most reports published in the field of forensic entomology studies are focused on Diptera pattern colonization and are neglecting Hymenoptera succession. Hymenoptera are part of the entomofaunal colonization of a dead body as parasitoids of fly pupae. However, one should consider Hymenoptera parasitoids in a forensic entomology context to evaluate the time of death. Blowflies parasitoids may indeed be of particular importance as their time of attack is often restricted to a small, well-defined window of developmental time of the insect host. Because these parasitoids also interfere with developmental times of colonizing Diptera, a better understanding of their ecology is needed. [less ▲]

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See detailRecensement de Calliphora vicina R.-D., Calliphora vomitoria L. et de Cynomya mortuorum L. (Diptères : Calliphoridae) dans les collections entomologiques des étudiants de Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech sur la période 1995-2009.
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg; Bonnet, Stéphanie ULg et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2012), 64(3), 57-62

Durant la période 1995-2009, les étudiants de Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Université de Liège) ont capturés des Calliphoridae et plus précisément la sous-famille des Calliphorinae. La sous-famille des ... [more ▼]

Durant la période 1995-2009, les étudiants de Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Université de Liège) ont capturés des Calliphoridae et plus précisément la sous-famille des Calliphorinae. La sous-famille des Calliphorinae comporte 9 genres dont les Calliphora et les Cynomya. L’entomofaune belge comprend trois espèces : Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy 1830, Calliphora vomitoria Linné 1758 et Cynomya mortuorum Linné 1761. L’espèce de Calliphorinae la plus représentée parmi les collections d’étudiants est C. vicina. [less ▲]

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See detailComment les insectes communiquent-ils au sein de l’ «écosystème-cadavre» ? L’écologie chimique des insectes nécrophages et nécrophiles
Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg; Frederickx, Christine ULg et al

in Faunistic Entomology - Entomologie Faunistique (2012), 65

L’entomologie forensique est une discipline des sciences forensiques qui étudie les insectes et d’autres arthropodes dans un contexte médico-légal. Les insectes nécrophages et nécrophiles, principalement ... [more ▼]

L’entomologie forensique est une discipline des sciences forensiques qui étudie les insectes et d’autres arthropodes dans un contexte médico-légal. Les insectes nécrophages et nécrophiles, principalement des Diptères et des Coléoptères, sont fréquemment retrouvés au sein de l’écosystème-cadavre. Pour ces insectes, le cadavre est une ressource éphémère très riche qu’ils vont coloniser de manière plus ou moins prévisible. L’entomofaune des cadavres seraient attirées par les odeurs cadavériques émises par le corps en décomposition. A l’heure actuelle, la thanatochimie est encore peu étudiée et l’information disponible concernant les COVs émis après la mort est limitée. Grâce à l’utilisation des méthodes de chimie analytique (TDS)GC-MS, GCxGC-TOF-MS), la signature olfactive d’un cadavre peut être étudiée au cours du processus de décomposition. L’ « odeur de la mort » est constituée par un mélange de plus de cent composés organiques volatils qui évoluent au cours de la décomposition. Cependant, les sémiochimiques qui sont réellement attractifs pour les insectes nécrophages et/ou nécrophiles ne sont pas encore clairement identifiés. Les espèces pionnières pourraient être attirées par des COVs cadavériques. Toutefois, les espèces plus tardives pourraient aussi être attirées par d’autres types de sémiochimiques produits par les insectes sarcosaprophages eux-mêmes (par exemple : des asticots, des insectes nécrophages). Plusieurs techniques d’écologie chimique peuvent être utiles en vue d’investiguer le rôle des sémiochimiques cadavériques dans le comportement des insectes sarcosaprophages. Une meilleure compréhension de l’écologie chimique des insectes nécrophages/nécrophiles et la thanatochimie pourraient avoir de nombreuses applications en science forensique et plus particulièrement en entomologie forensique. [less ▲]

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See detailL'entomologie forensique, les insectes résolvent les crimes
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2011), 63(4), 237-249

L’entomologie forensique est une discipline des sciences forensiques qui étudie les insectes et d’autres arthropodes dans un contexte médico-légal. Pourtant, l’idée d’utiliser les insectes en ... [more ▼]

L’entomologie forensique est une discipline des sciences forensiques qui étudie les insectes et d’autres arthropodes dans un contexte médico-légal. Pourtant, l’idée d’utiliser les insectes en criminalistique n’est pas neuve, déjà en 1894 Mégnin nous parlait de la « faune des cadavres ». Depuis les années 2000, l’entomologie forensique connais un grand essor en Europe, notamment avec la création en 2002 de L’Association Européenne pour l’Entomologie Forensique (EAFE) qui regroupe l’ensemble des scientifiques spécialisés dans ce domaine. Actuellement, les insectes nécrophages ne sont plus exclusivement utilisés pour estimer la période écoulée entre le décès d’une victime et la découverte du corps ou intervalle post- mortem. Ils peuvent aussi apporter des informations dans les cas d’abus et de négligences chez les enfants ou les personnes âgées, sur les causes de la mort, l’identité des victimes, etc. Malgré ces progrès, cette discipline connait certaines lacunes, il y a très peu de données sur les Coléoptères nécrophages, sur la décomposition en milieu marin, des corps enterrés, etc. Cependant, de nouvelles techniques se mettent en place et permettent d’améliorer les méthodes entomologiques existantes. [less ▲]

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See detailBiosensors in Forensic Sciences
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2011), 15(3), 449-458

A biosensor is a device that uses biological materials to monitor the presence of specific chemicals in an area. Traditional methods of volatile detection used by the law enforcement agencies and rescue ... [more ▼]

A biosensor is a device that uses biological materials to monitor the presence of specific chemicals in an area. Traditional methods of volatile detection used by the law enforcement agencies and rescue teams consist in the canine olfaction. This concept of using dogs to detect specific substances is quite old. However, dogs have some limitations such as cost of training, time of conditioning. Thus, the possibility of using other organisms as biosensors including rats, dolphins, honeybees, parasitic wasps in detection of explosives, narcotics and cadavers has been developed. But, insects have several advantages unshared by mammalians. Insects are very sensitive, cheap to produce and can be conditioned with impressive speed for a specific chemical-detection task. Moreover, insects might be a preferred sensing method in scenarios that are deemed too dangerous to use mammalian. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the biosensors used in forensic sciences [less ▲]

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See detailHost location by the parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker (Hymenoptera : Pteromalidae)
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

Poster (2011, July 24)

Successful reproduction for parasitoids encompasses a series of behavioral steps commonly defined as host-habitat location, host location, host acceptance and host regulation. Successful host location ... [more ▼]

Successful reproduction for parasitoids encompasses a series of behavioral steps commonly defined as host-habitat location, host location, host acceptance and host regulation. Successful host location, where resources are patchily distributed within the environment, is dependent on the information value of stimuli used in the host location process. Chemical cues produced by either the host itself, products derived from the host play an important role in host location. This study investigated the role of odorant cues used during host location by the generalist parasitoid, Nasonia vitripennis Walker. N vitripennis is a common parasitoid of Dipteran pupae found in association with decaying carrion. The biological activity of eight of the volatile molecules constituting the odour of pupae were tested on the searching behavior of parasitoid females through chemoecological approache: olfactometry bioassays. [less ▲]

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See detailL'entomologie forensique: c'est quoi?
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg

Poster (2010, November 06)

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See detailUtilité des composés organiques volatils (COVs) émis par les Diptères nécrophages dans l’estimation de l’intervalle post mortem.
Frederickx, Christine ULg; Dekeirsschieter, Jessica ULg; Verheggen, François ULg et al

Conference (2010, July 09)

L’entomologie forensique s’intéresse à l’étude des insectes et d’autres arthropodes permettant d’estimer la période écoulée entre le décès d’une victime et la découverte du corps, encore appelée ... [more ▼]

L’entomologie forensique s’intéresse à l’étude des insectes et d’autres arthropodes permettant d’estimer la période écoulée entre le décès d’une victime et la découverte du corps, encore appelée intervalle post mortem ou IPM. Actuellement, cet intervalle post mortem est estimé après élevage en laboratoire des œufs, des larves et des pupes des Diptères nécrophages prélevés sur la scène de crime. Afin d’éviter cette mise en élevage, il est possible d’estimer l’âge des pupes de Diptères. A cette fin, nous avons prélevé par microextraction sur phase solide (SPME) les composés organiques volatils émis par les pupes de Diptères tout au long de leur pupaison. Ces composés organiques volatiles sont ensuite analysés par chromatographie en phase gazeuse couplée à la spectrométrie de masse (GC-MS). Ces analyses permettront d’une part d’estimer l’IPM plus justement et d’autre part de visualiser l’évolution des composés organiques volatiles émis par les pupes de Diptères nécrophages au cours de leur pupaison. [less ▲]

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