Besides the dominant necrophagous dipteran of the families Sarcophagidae and Calliphoridae usually used for post mortem interval (PMI) estimations, species of other families such as Fanniidae have frequently been reported in forensic studies. Though less abundant, these species are prevalent in decomposing carcasses with most reports being anecdotal. In this study we identified adults of the fly family Fanniidae associated to pig carcasses located under different local environmental conditions (sun and shade) in a semiarid area at Mendoza, Argentina during the winter season. We examined the potential of species of this family as indicators of PMI by measuring abundance, time of occurrence and residency time at the carcasses. We identified six species of Fanniidae: Euryomma peregrinum Meigen, Fannia albitarsis Stein, Fannia femoralis Stein, Fannia fusconotata Rondani, Fannia heydenii Wiedemann and Fannia sanihue Domínguez and Aballay. Overall, fly abundance was higher at the sunlit than at the shaded carcass. The most abundant species at the sun was F. fusconotata while at the shaded carcass F. femoralis was the most abundant species. Based on their residency time, however, species with higher potential as PMI indicators seem to be F. heydenii and F. sanihue as their residency time at the carcass was restricted to a short period of the decomposition process. Other species were present throughout most of the decomposition process or in such a low abundance (E. peregrinum) that they were not useful as indicators. These preliminary results indicate that adults of some species of Fanniidae could act as a good complementary indicator species during the winter season. In particular, F. heydenii and F. sanihue should be the focus of further studies which should also expand to other seasons.
Keywords: Fanniidae, PMI, Forensic entomology, Adults