Forensic entomology: applications and limitations.
Journal - Forensic science, medicine, and pathology
Forensic entomology is the science of collecting and analysing insect evidence to aid in forensic investigations. Its main application is in the determination of the minimum time since death in cases of suspicious death, either by estimating the age of the oldest necrophagous insects that developed on the corpse, or by analysing the insect species composition on the corpse. In addition, toxicological and molecular examinations of these insects may help reveal the cause of death or even the identity of a victim, by associating a larva with its last meal, for example, in cases where insect evidence is left at a scene after human remains have been deliberately removed. Some fly species can develop not only on corpses but on living bodies too, causing myiasis. Analysis of larvae in such cases can demonstrate the period of neglect of humans or animals. Without the appropriate professional collection of insect evidence, an accurate and convincing presentation of such evidence in court will be hampered or even impossible. The present paper describes the principles and methods of forensic entomology and the optimal techniques for collecting insect evidence.
The nocturnal oviposition behaviour of blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Central Europe and its forensic implications.
Journal - Forensic science international (Ireland )
Numerous factors may cause delayed colonisation of a corpse by blowflies, leading to a discrepancy between the entomologically determined post-mortem interval (PMI) and the time of death. Blowflies, for example, are considered to be inactive at night, however, published observations are contradictory. In the present study, several field experiments and one type of indoor experiment were conducted in summer of 2004 and 2005 in order to investigate the nocturnal ovipositional behaviour of blowflies. In the field, two types of bait, dead hedgehogs and fresh beef liver, were placed at night in different urban and rural locations in Frankfurt and in Munich, Germany. For the indoor-experiments beef liver was placed in small plastic boxes containing caged Lucilia sericata females in the evening and left overnight. At night, no ovipositon was observed in the field (n=51, T=10-24 degrees C). Nocturnal oviposition in complete darkness occurred in the plastic boxes in two of six cases (T=25 degrees C). Considering the behavioural and physiological characteristics of flies we suggest that nocturnal oviposition of blowflies appears to be unlikely under natural conditions in Central Europe but may occur under certain circumstances, such as unusual high nightly temperatures and the presence of gravid flies with an appropriate arousal threshold.
|ISSN : ||1872-6283|
|Mesh Heading : ||Animals Entomology Forensic Anthropology Postmortem Changes Temperature|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Circadian Rhythm Diptera Oviposition|
Best practice in forensic entomology--standards and guidelines.
Journal - International journal of legal medicine (Germany )
Forensic entomology, the use of insects and other arthropods in forensic investigations, is becoming increasingly more important in such investigations. To ensure its optimal use by a diverse group of professionals including pathologists, entomologists and police officers, a common frame of guidelines and standards is essential. Therefore, the European Association for Forensic Entomology has developed a protocol document for best practice in forensic entomology, which includes an overview of equipment used for collection of entomological evidence and a detailed description of the methods applied. Together with the definitions of key terms and a short introduction to the most important methods for the estimation of the minimum postmortem interval, the present paper aims to encourage a high level of competency in the field of forensic entomology.
|ISSN : ||0937-9827|
|Mesh Heading : ||Animals Autopsy Documentation Entomology Europe Forensic Sciences Humans Life Cycle Stages Postmortem Changes Specimen Handling methods instrumentation methods instrumentation methods|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Benchmarking standards standards|
Journal - Die Naturwissenschaften (Germany )
Necrophagous insects are important in the decomposition of cadavers. The close association between insects and corpses and the use of insects in medicocriminal investigations is the subject of forensic entomology. The present paper reviews the historical background of this discipline, important postmortem processes, and discusses the scientific basis underlying attempts to determine the time interval since death. Using medical techniques, such as the measurement of body temperature or analysing livor and rigor mortis, time since death can only be accurately measured for the first two or three days after death. In contrast, by calculating the age of immature insect stages feeding on a corpse and analysing the necrophagous species present, postmortem intervals from the first day to several weeks can be estimated. These entomological methods may be hampered by difficulties associated with species identification, but modern DNA techniques are contributing to the rapid and authoritative identification of necrophagous insects. Other uses of entomological data include the toxicological examination of necrophagous larvae from a corpse to identify and estimate drugs and toxicants ingested by the person when alive and the proof of possible postmortem manipulations. Forensic entomology may even help in investigations dealing with people who are alive but in need of care, by revealing information about cases of neglect.
|ISSN : ||0028-1042|
|Mesh Heading : ||Animals Body Temperature Humans Rigor Mortis|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Forensic Medicine Insects Postmortem Changes|