Acari community in association with delayed pig carrion decomposition. Academic Article uri icon


  • Acari community structure and function associated with delayed pig carrion decomposition has not been examined. In this study, 18 swine carcasses were studied in central Texas, USA, during two consecutive summers (2013 and 2014). Samples of ca. 400g soil were collected from beneath, aside, and 5m away from each pig carcass over 180days. Mites from soil samples were extracted using Berlese funnels and identified to order and family levels and classified according to ecological function. In total 1565 and 1740 mites were identified from the 2013 and 2014 soil samples, respectively. Significant differences were determined for mite community structure at order and family levels temporally on carrion (e.g., day 0day 14) regardless of treatments and between soil regions where mites were collected (e.g., soil beneath vs. soil 5m away from carrion). However, no significant differences were found in mite community structure at the order level between pig carrion with and without delayed Diptera colonization (i.e., treatments). Analysis at the family level determined a significant difference across treatments for both summers. Ecological function of mites did not change significantly following the delayed decomposition of pig carcasses. However, detritivores and fungivores were significant indicator groups during the pig carrion decomposition process. Furthermore, 13 phoretic mite species associated with eight forensically important beetle species were documented. Data from this study indicated that the rate of nutrient flow into the soil impacted associated arthropod communities; however, detecting such shifts depends on the taxonomic resolution being applied.

published proceedings

  • Exp Appl Acarol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Heo, C. C., Teel, P. D., OConnor, B. M., & Tomberlin, J. K.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Heo, CC||Teel, PD||OConnor, BM||Tomberlin, JK

publication date

  • December 2021