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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2005 June;125(2):45-59
Forensic entomology is the study of insects associated with a dead body in order to estimate elapsed time since death. Although having a very long history, it has only come into common usage in the last 30 years. Insects can be extremely valuable in a death investigation and can be used to estimate elapsed time since death from hours to years after death. This paper describes the 2 main entomological methods used to estimate elapsed time since death and then reviews much of the pertinent literature on both methods, as well as discusses many of the parameters which can impact insect colonization of a corpse. Two new areas of forensic entomology, entomotoxicology and the use of DNA, are also discussed.