Forensic Entomology

Topics: Insect, Entomology, Larva Pages: 4 (1144 words) Published: August 20, 2014

Forensic Entomology

Forensic entomology is the study of insects and arthropods and their relation to a criminal investigation. Forensic entomology can determine the postmortem interval (PMI) or how long since the descendants’ death, whether the body has been moved since expiring, and what injuries may have been sustained. When decomposition begins, insects establish a colony to lay eggs on the remains; these eggs will hatch into larvae that will eat the human organs and tissues. Forensic entomologists can determine the specific insects present in the body and estimate how long a body has been left exposed by examining the stage of development of the fly larvae; however, these findings are not always plausible. The fly larvae look and act different at each stage of development. The time required for stage development is not only affected by environmental influences such as geographical location, climate, and weather conditions, but also by type of insect. The forensic entomologist must consider these conditions when estimating the postmortem interval. Knowledge of insects, their life cycles, and their habits make entomological evidence a priceless tool for an investigation. Forensic entomology has proved its significance in a number of cases; though circumstances such as weather, temperature, and time of year clearly affect the development of insect infestation, and the expert must keep these in the forefront of his/her mind. Forensic entomologists measure the PMI derived from the age of the insect present, which may or may not estimate the postmortem interval in full. A portion of the PMI can be corroborated by information provided by the forensic entomologist, while the actual postmortem interval estimation is the duty of the forensic pathologist, medical examiner, or coroner. Numerous techniques such as species succession, larval weight, larval length, and accumulated degree hour can be used by forensic entomologists. An assumption of...
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