Make your own free website on



Autopsies | Blood Analysis | Absorption-elution technique | Kastle-Meyer Colour Test | Luminol Test | Human or Not? Precipitin Test | Blood stain patterns | DNA Fingerprinting | Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLP's) | Short Tandem Repeats (STR) | Entamology | Common Insects | Links


 Insects have extisted on earth for about 250 million years. Such an enormous amount of time has allowed

insects to attain a wide diversity in both forms and development. There are currently about 10 million

species of insects living in the world today. For many years, the worms crawling in the eyes, nose, and

other body parts on dead bodies were considered just another disgusting element of decay, something to

be rinsed away as soon as the corpse was placed on the table for autopsy. Through the years, however, a

few scientists have researched forensic entomology, which has become a fascinating, and at the same time

a more secret field of biological study.Forensic entomology is the name given to any aspect of the study of

insects and their arthropod counterparts that interacts with legal matters. Lord and Stevenson (1986) divided

it into three components: urban entomology (legal proceedings involving insects and related animals that affect

manmade structures and other aspects of the human environment), stored products entomology

(proceedings involving insects infesting stored commodities such as cereals and other kitchen products), and

medicolegal entomology. The latter field, sometimes termed "forensic medical entomology," and in reality

"medicocriminal entomology" (because of its focus on violent crime), relates primarily to 1) determination of

the time (postmortem interval or PMI) or site of human death, 2) cases involving possible sudden death,

3) traffic accidents with no immediately obvious cause, and 4) possible criminal misuse of insects.As

presently practiced, medicocriminal entomology deals mainly with inferences made after examination and

identification of arthropods collected from or near corpses. Each insect undergoes "holometabolous"

development on a corpse allowing investiagtors to determine time of death relative to what stage the insect is

undergoing. There is an egg stage which hatches into a larval form and undergoes a step by step growth.

 The last stage is the inactive pupa stage where it developes its outer skin and begins to develop its iternal

protective skin. The pupal stahe is an extremely important stage to the forensic entamologist and a thorough

search should be made for the presence of pupae at any death scene.