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Insects 2017, 8(2), 36; doi:10.3390/insects8020036

Comparing Species Composition of Passive Trapping of Adult Flies with Larval Collections from the Body during Scene-Based Medicolegal Death Investigations

Investigations Division, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, 1861 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX 77054, USA
Academic Editors: David Rivers and John R. Wallace
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forensic Entomology)
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Abstract

Collection of insects at the scene is one of the most important aspects of forensic entomology and proper collection is one of the biggest challenges for any investigator. Adult flies are highly mobile and ubiquitous at scenes, yet their link to the body and the time of colonization (TOC) and post-mortem interval (PMI) estimates is not well established. Collection of adults is widely recommended for casework but has yet to be rigorously evaluated during medicolegal death investigations for its value to the investigation. In this study, sticky card traps and immature collections were compared for 22 cases investigated by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Houston, TX, USA. Cases included all manner of death classifications and a range of decomposition stages from indoor and outdoor scenes. Overall, the two methods successfully collected at least one species in common only 65% of the time, with at least one species unique to one of the methods 95% of the time. These results suggest that rearing of immature specimens collected from the body should be emphasized during training to ensure specimens directly associated with the colonization of the body can be identified using adult stages if necessary. View Full-Text
Keywords: Diptera; colonization; casework; decomposition Diptera; colonization; casework; decomposition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sanford, M.R. Comparing Species Composition of Passive Trapping of Adult Flies with Larval Collections from the Body during Scene-Based Medicolegal Death Investigations. Insects 2017, 8, 36.

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