Uploaded by James Rocco

Forensic Entomotoxicology

Mr. Rocco
Penn Trafford High School
The Maggot Mystery
 Entomotoxicology is used to
study the effect of toxins in the
cadaver with the help of the insects.
How is it used?
Arthropods are used to identify whether the toxins were present in a
body at the time of death or not
study the effects of toxins on the developmental frequency of
insects that feeds on the cadaver
study the effects of these toxins on the cadaver when the other
cadaver tissues are absent
The organic materials of entomotoxicological use can be
investigated are: lar-vae, pupae, adult insects, puparial cases,
exuviae (cast beetle skins), beetle faecal material (frass), fly
How is it used?
The sampling sites for drug exposure in insects are the core
organs (e.g. liver), the head-area or muscles in cases where no
core organs are left.
Later the accomplishment of sample collection from the body,
they are washed by using normal water and the specimens are
freeze for storing at an extreme low temperature lies between 68°F to 39.2°F. Insect samples are mainly of two types: Organic
and In-organic.
 Drugs are distributed in the body
according to their physicochemical
How to
 So…different drug concentrations in
different organs and tissues
 Thus also in insects reared on these
different substrates.
 The best sampling sites for drug
detection in insects are the internal
organs (e.g. liver), the head-area or
muscles in cases where no internal
organs are left.
What drugs have been detected
Substances like Cocaine, Heroin, Morphine,
methamphetamine, Methylene
Dioxymethamphetamine, Triazolam, Oxazepam,
Chloripriamine, Barbiturates, Malathion,
Nortriptyline and Amitryptiline, and Paracetamol
Cocaine and Meth
 Cocaine and methamphetamine accelerate the rate of fly
development. Cocaine causes larvae to “develop more
rapidly 36 to 76 hours after hatching”.
 The amount of methamphetamine, on the other hand,
affects the rate of pupal development. A lethal dose of
methamphetamine increases larval development through
approximately the first two days and afterwards the rate
drops if exposure remains at the median lethal dosage
 Methamphetamine found in larvae will untimatley seed up
development but lead to increased mortality
 of the effects of heroin on fly development
has shown that it actually speeds up larval
growth and then decreases the development
rate of the pupal stage.
1. Select
one sample
from each of the
maggot collections
(choose, A, B, C and D)
2. Add a small amount of
alcohol to each
sample. Crush the
maggot sample (6-10
maggots) in a vial or
small dish
3. Allow the alcohol to
4. Take a few drops of
the Maggot A Soup
and place it in 4
separate spot plate
Our Lab
Stew: Drug Detection
Our Lab
Maggot Stew: Drug Detection
 5. Place of few drops of the 4 drug indicators
into each of the wells. A positive result will
result in color change and indicate a positive
test for the presence of a specific drug. Each
indicator is specific for a drug.