Development and validation of a new technique for estimating a minimum postmortem interval using adult blow fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae) carcass attendance
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Understanding the onset and duration of adult blow fly activity is critical to accurately estimating the period of insect activity or minimum postmortem interval (minPMI). Few, if any, reliable techniques have been developed and consequently validated for using adult fly activity to determine a minPMI. In this study, adult blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of Cochliomyia macellaria and Chrysomya rufifacies were collected from swine carcasses in rural central Texas, USA, during summer 2008 and Phormia regina and Calliphora vicina in the winter during 2009 and 2010. Carcass attendance patterns of blow flies were related to species, sex, and oocyte development. Summer-active flies were found to arrive 4-12 h after initial carcass exposure, with both C. macellaria and C. rufifacies arriving within 2 h of one another. Winter-active flies arrived within 48 h of one another. There was significant difference in degree of oocyte development on each of the first 3 days postmortem. These frequency differences allowed a minPMI to be calculated using a binomial analysis. When validated with seven tests using domestic and feral swine and human remains, the technique correctly estimated time of placement in six trials.
author list (cited authors)
Mohr, R. M., & Tomberlin, J. K.