Forensic Science

Forensic entomology is the study of insect and other types of arthropods to criminal investigations. These creatures can help provide information that includes the time of death, detection of drugs, and poisons. In open air a corpse will attract blowflies within ten minutes after death. These flies will begin to lay their eggs in the eyes, mouth, and nose of the body.  When the eggs hatch, maggots will begin to feed on the body tissue. This usually happens within twelve hours after death. After about a day, beetles will be attracted to the body and eat the dry flesh. Two days later, the corpse will attract spiders, mites, and millipedes to eat the bugs that are already on the corpse.            
   In order to determine the time of death, entomologists will look at the stage of development of the Lucilia sericata. The lifecycle of this blowfly is very predictable and each stage of development usually will last the same amount of time. Scientists have to keep in mind that warmer weather will increase the growth of Lucilia sericata. They will examine the temperature, the developmental stage, and calculate how long the body has been dead. To determine if the person has been poisoned, evidence will be discovered in the maggot’s stomach. The Body Farm Research Lab, at the University of Tennessee, was created so that forensic experts can study real human bodies as they decay.  Take a look of this Youtube video about the body farm!

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