Forensic Entomology
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An Introduction
Biol450
An Introduction to Forensic
Entomology
• What is forensic entomology?
• What are the stages of decomposition?
• What are some of the key players?
What is forensic entomology?
• Forensic entomology is the use of insects, or
arthropods, to investigate legal cases.
• Can involve both human and wildlife cases
• Cases can be related to untimely deaths, neglect, and
foul play
• Can help pinpoint time of death, and location
• Can also be associated with grain industry and food
cases
http://natagri.ufs.ac.za/dl/userfiles/Images/00003/2123_eng.jpg
What are the stages of
decomposition?
• 5 stages:
– Fresh
– Bloat
– Active Decay
– Advanced Decay
– Dry/Skeletal
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources/research-curation/consulting/flash-imagefaders/forensic-entomology/images/calliphora-larvae.jpg
• Stages of Colonization
– Allows for time of death calculations
– Post mortem intervals (PMI)
Colonization
Blowflies
Flesh flies
Predaceous flies
Carrion Beetles
Rove beetles
Carpet Beetles
Lepidoptera
Time
Courtesy of Nancy Ostiguy
Blow flies
Carpet beetles
Predatory flies
Carrion beetles
Mel Bishop 2007
Rove Beetles
Flesh flies
Courtesy of Dr Ke Chung Kim
Clothes moths
Eggs…
Courtesy of Dr Ke Chung Kim
Young maggots
Courtesy of Dr Ke Chung Kim
Older maggots
Courtesy of Dr Ke Chung Kim
Maggot mass
Courtesy of Dr Ke Chung Kim
Field Studies
• Collection and analysis from field
Courtesy of Dr Ke Chung Kim
Collection
http://www.itsgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/forensic-entomology.jpg
Summary
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Forensic Entomology
Decomposition
Colonization
Future Classes
• Forensic Science major
http://www.forensics.psu.edu/