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sarcophagous / necrophagous
#1 Print Post
Posted on 17-11-2006 16:47
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Location: Viseu - PORTUGAL
Posts: 9286
Joined: 05.06.06


I read wiki entries about sarcophagous and necrophagous and they aren?t clear. And here...

Saprophagous Diptera feed on decaying material of all kinds usually as larvae. Very many Diptera are saprophagous.

Sarcosaprophagous Diptera feed on decaying flesh, usually as larvae. They are of great importance in forensic entomology.

the definitions above... are almost the same!! Frown

sarcosaprophagous are the same like NECROPHAGOUS, rigth?

Can you clarify these 3, please. Thank you!
#2 Print Post
Posted on 17-11-2006 17:00
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Location: Viseu - PORTUGAL
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Joined: 05.06.06

it seems that the second - sarcosaprophagous - is a PARTICULAR one from above (saprophagous)... so I think really that necrophagous and sarcosaprophagous are the same thing.. am I right?

Herbivorous dipters it just for their larva (some..), right?

thank you.
#3 Print Post
Posted on 17-11-2006 17:04
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Location: Viseu - PORTUGAL
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another thing.... in sarcopahgous: "decaying material of all kinds " it can refer too URANIUM decaying!!!! Frown so, I think this glossary must be improved.. Wink
Robert Nash
#4 Print Post
Posted on 20-11-2006 12:43

Location: Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland
Posts: 288
Joined: 11.11.05

The terms sarcosaprophagous and necrophagous are sometimes synonymous. However necrophagy,although from the Greek word for dead, death, dead body, dead tissue or cells or corpse usually refers to, in the case of Diptera, a larva feeding on a corpse.

Sarcosaprophagy, from the Greek word, Sarcos, meaning flesh or muscle and sapros "decaying, rotten, putrid, spoiled" may refer to a corpse-feeding larva or one feeding on decaying animal tissue of any kind in any situation, for instance on dead, necrotic tissue in a wound on a living animal.

Sarcosaprophagous is a preferred (to necrophagous) term in forensic entomology since it is neutral, not necessarily implying the presence of a corpse.

A saprophagous larva, it should be also noted may be a mycetophage or bacteriophage, feeding not on the decaying organic material itself but on fungi or bacteria but whether or not this is facultative or obligate is in the majority of instances speculative (guesswork).
Many of the terms used in Wikipedia are defined generally in relation to their use in a general sense and are broadly written and not necessarily in relation to their use in technical areas such as dipterology.

#5 Print Post
Posted on 20-11-2006 17:40
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Location: Viseu - PORTUGAL
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fantastic! now, I understood the real meaning!!! thanks! now this makes sense.
Tony Irwin
#6 Print Post
Posted on 20-11-2006 21:28
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Location: Norwich, England
Posts: 7009
Joined: 19.11.04

Robert -
Your explanation makes me regret I didn't take Classics at University. Thanks for expressing these terms so clearly!
Tony Irwin
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