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A Journal on Forensic Medicine




Minerva Medicolegale 2000 June;120(2): 109-14

language: Italian

Prospects in forensic entomology

Favati V., Terranova G., Mondini P.


Insects and other arthropods are known to be useful in estimating the postmortem interval (PMI). The entomological method provides an accurate estimate of the time since death based on analysis of successional patterns of carrion-arthropods, length of the oldest maggots recovered from the body, close observation of larval development. Attention is drawn to the relatively wide perspectives of the application of entomological findings in forensic medicine and criminology, apart from estimating the PMI: entomological findings can help to determine whether the body has been moved after death or has been lying in a particular place; insects collected from decomposing human remains can be a valuable tool for toxicological analyses; currently the DNA of human blood can be recovered from the digestive tract of an insect that has fed on an individual and typed by PCR. Finally, death scene procedures for collection of specimens and climatological data are emphasized.

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