C. vicina's Role in Forensic Science

The Calliphora vicina is a decomposer that is known to make its home all around this world.  It is used by many forensic scientists in order to determine the time of death of a corpse.  Forensic scientists use the count of C. vicina larvae on the dead body in order to determine how much time had passed since the mother placed its eggs there. 

Interestingly enough many forensic scientists use C. vicina to estimate the time of death of a corpse.  To do so they look at the stage of development that the larva is in and the length and width of each (Reiter C. 1984).  C. vicina are not the only organisms to decompose the bodies, many other arthropods such as beetles and worms helps in the decomposing processTo learn more about these other decomposers got to (http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/tutorial/decomposers.html)().The C. vicina mothers also produce a waxy covering over any openings it uses to ensure its babies are safe from any of the body invaders (Fabre J.H. 1919).  Being one of the earliest to arrive to the site of the dead body the C. vicina is the best choice to determine the time since the corpse had died.  This method is only used if the body has been dead for less than one month. After that forensic scientist use a method called succession waves of insects, which takes into account of other insects that invade the body after a certain period of time ().

The C.vicina maggots are collected for lab use in finding the time of death.  It is crucial to research that these maggots be taken in alive and preserved.  To preserve them they are placed in ethanol and feed in intervals.


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