Towards the automated identification of Chrysomya blow flies from wing images

N. Macleod, M. J.R. Hall, A. H. Wardhana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Old World screwworm fly (OWSF), Chrysomya bezziana (Diptera: Calliphoridae), is an important agent of traumatic myiasis and, as such, a major human and animal health problem. In the implementation of OWSF control operations, it is important to determine the geographical origins of such disease-causing species in order to establish whether they derive from endemic or invading populations. Gross morphological and molecular studies have demonstrated the existence of two distinct lineages of this species, one African and the other Asian. Wing morphometry is known to be of substantial assistance in identifying the geographical origin of individuals because it provides diagnostic markers that complement molecular diagnostics. However, placement of the landmarks used in traditional geometric morphometric analysis can be time-consuming and subject to error caused by operator subjectivity. Here we report results of an image-based approach to geometric morphometric analysis for delivering wing-based identifications. Our results indicate that this approach can produce identifications that are practically indistinguishable from more traditional landmark-based results. In addition, we demonstrate that the direct analysis of digital wing images can be used to discriminate between three Chrysomya species of veterinary and forensic importance and between C. bezziana genders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Calliphoridae
  • Chrysomya bezziana
  • Chrysomya megacephala
  • Chrysomya rufifacies
  • Old World screwworm fly
  • automated identification
  • biogeography
  • image classification
  • morphometrics
  • sexual dimorphism


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