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Forensic Entomology

(Part I)

Taphonomy
Definition:
The study of the conditions and processes
by which organisms become fossilized.
Forensically, the focus is usually on the
days-years time frame rather than
processes that occur over thousands of
years.

Forensic Taphonomy

Reconstruct the circumstances of


death

Estimate the time of death

Forensic Taphonomy

Forensic Anthropology

Usually deal with skeletonized bodies

Approximately 6 months for surface burial

Can Interpret:
General weathering of the bone
Damage by carnivore scavengers
Trace Elements

Forensic Taphonomy

Forensic Anthropology
Any time since death estimation is just an
estimation. It can be very difficult when
dealing with skeletonized remains.

Forensic
Entomology

Forensic Entomology

Forensic Entomology Background

Estimating the Postmortem Interval


(PMI)

DNA Analysis of Maggot Crop


Contents

Forensic Entomology

Forensic Entomology:
Study of insects and their arthropod
counterparts that interact with legal
matters.

Urban Entomology
Stored Product Entomology
Medicolegal Entomology

Forensic Entomology

Forensic Entomology:
Study of insects and their arthropod
counterparts that interact with legal
matters.

Urban Entomology
Stored Product Entomology
Medicocriminal Entomology

Forensic Entomology

Forensic Entomology:
Study of insects and their arthropod
counterparts that interact with legal
matters.

Urban Entomology
Stored Product Entomology
Forensic Medical Entomology

Forensic Entomology

Insects and other arthropods can be


used to answer:
How or where a death occurred.
When did death occur?
Postmortem Interval (PMI): Time between
death and discovery of a corpse.

Forensic Entomology

History

China: 13th century. sickle


Bergeret: 1859. dead baby
Megnin: 1890. fathered forensic entomology
Hall: 1948. blowflies
Greenberg, Nuortowa, Marchenko: 70s,
80s

Forensic Entomology

Forensic Entomology:
Study of insects and their arthropod
counterparts that interact with legal
matters.
What is an arthropod?
What is an insect?

Forensic Entomology

Arthropoda (phylum)
class - Arachnida (spiders, scorpions)
class - Chilopoda (centipedes)
class Insecta (insects)
order Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps)
order Blattaria (cockroaches)
order Diptera (flies)
order Coloeoptera (beetles)

Forensic Entomology

Arthropoda (phylum)
class - Arachnida (spiders, scorpions)
class - Chilopoda (centipedes)
class Insecta (insects)
order Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps)
order Blattaria (cockroaches)
order Diptera (flies)
order Coloeoptera (beetles)

Forensic Entomology

Flies
Some flies are attracted to dead bodies.

Carrion Flies:
Calliphoridae (blow flies)
Sarcophagidae (flesh flies)
Muscidae (house flies)
Phoridae

Forensic Entomology

Flies
Some flies are attracted to dead bodies.

Carrion Flies:
Calliphoridae (blow flies)
Sarcophagidae (flesh flies)
Muscidae (house flies)
Phoridae

Forensic Entomology

Phoridae

Scuttle flies or coffin flies

Take advantage of
physical barriers; larger
flies cant get to body

Forensic Entomology > Flies

Calliphoridae (blow flies)

Shiny color (bluebottle, greenbottle)

Among the first to arrive at a corpse

Forensic Entomology > Flies

Sarcophagidae (flesh flies)

Large, gray flies

Also among the first flies to arrive

Forensic Entomology > Beetles

Forensic Entomology > Beetles

Coleoptera (beetles)

Arrive early or late in decomposition


process, depending on species

Forensic Entomology > Flies and Beetles

Complete Metamorphosis
1.
2.
3.
4.

Eggs
Larvae
Pupae
Adult