Forensic Entomology

Madii Harrington

What is forensic entomology

Forensic entomology is the study of insects as they pertain to legal issues

Types of insects

  1. Maggots - maggots can be found on dead bodies and they can tell us when the eggs were laid depending on which stage their in
  2. Flies - flies can be found swarming above dead bodies and they can also tell you how long they have been there/if they were just hatched etc...

Information From the Site

  1. Activity before death
  2. Temperature
  3. Body weight

Estimating Time of Death (PMI)

Rigor Mortis begins, body becomes stiff from the face down. - within 2-6 hours


Rigor is at peak, body is completely rigid. - within 12 hours


Rigor Mortis is slowly going away, loss of rigor in small muscles. - within 15-36 hours


Rigor disappears, Rigor Mortis is completely gone. - withiin 36-48 hours

Limitations of Forensic Entomology

  • Accurate temperature information is needed to estimate time of death, weather patterns can limit TOD accuracy
  • In winter there are not as much insects and entomology use is limited
  • Forensic entomology cannot give immediate results
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