Types of Flies used in Forensic entomology for Investigation

A picture of a fly sitting on a leaf of a tree

Forensic entomology is the study of insects with respect to the scene of the crime. Insects arrive in a specific order on a decomposing body to complete its life cycle based on the environment temperature. By collecting and studying different insects present on a decomposed body, an entomologist can estimate the time of death. This article will explore the types of flies present on a dead body for entomological study.

The different types of flies that have forensic importance are blue bottle flies, green bottle flies, blowflies, flesh flies, etc. Their studies help us to determine the time of death. It helps in investigating the criminal cases which involve possible unexpected deaths. Dealing with traffic accidents with no instant apparent reason and possibilities of misusing the insects.

Along with their forensic importance, we will also study the basic knowledge about the flies, which helps identify the flies found at the scene of crime.

Types of Flies Used in Forensic Entomology for Criminal Investigation

1. Blowflies

Blowflies or the Calliphoridae belong to an insect family in the Diptera order and 1200 identified species. Their larvae, called gentles, are used as baits for fishing. The adults are shiny in appearance with metallic coloring (green, black, or blue abdomen, and thoraces). 

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Forensic Importance of Blowflies

They are the first insects to interact with the corpse because they can smell the corpse at a distance of a mile away easily. When they reach the corpse, the female flies lay their egg on it. We can predict their development easily if we know the ambient temperature.

It is deliberated as a valued tool in forensic science. Minimum PMI is estimated with them. We can also determine the fact that whether the corpse was injected with drugs before death or the body was relocated by observing its colonization on the dead body.

Cynomya mortuorum and Calliphora vicina are some significant flies in forensic entomology.

2. Flesh Fly

Sarcophagidae are the members of the flesh flies family. They are different from other flies because they are Oviparous. They deposit maggots instead of eggs on the corpse, decaying material, dung, or mammals open wounds. Some of them are internal parasites on some other insects lie orthoptera, Hymenoptera, etc. The adult flies feed on fluids obtained from nectar, animal bodies, sweet foo, etc.

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Forensic Importance of Flesh Flies

Most species of these flies act as scavengers of small dead bodies like dead snails and insects or some small vertebrates. Some of them feed on large vertebrates as well. Their maggots eat the larvae of other insects because they might be small and comes in their way. They can feed on decaying vegetables, pit latrines, or around compost.

3. Common Green Bottle Fly

They are found in a majority of areas around the world. They are 10-14 mm in length and more prominent than a regular housefly. Their appearance looks metallic (green, golden, or blue in coloration).

Forensic importance of Common Green Bottle Fly

Green bottle flies or L. Sericata habits and life cycle are studied intensely. Their life cycle stages on a dead body can help us to calculate the minimum PMI (post mortem interval) to estimate the time of death. It can determine the dead body’s condition by its presence or absence.

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Their normal development shows no disturbance of the dead body. If it is disturbed, that means there is some tampering with the dead body. They are the first ones to colonize a dead body which determines an estimated time of colonization of other species and, therefore, the time of death.

Blue Bottle Flies

It is a species of the Calliphoridae family. This is also a common fly species in man continent like America, Africa, and Europe. These are 2x housefly size and easily recognized by their blue, shiny bodies.

Forensic Importance of Blue Bottle Flies

It is the most crucial evidence at a scene of crime. We can obtain PMI (postmortem interval) and TOC (time of colonization). We consider them an important species, usually in temperate regions, because of their development rate regarding temperature.

They lay eggs with respect to temperature to help us estimate time. Only some of them can survive in cold climates. The position of the dead body during its burial and the time since it was buried can be obtained by identifying C.vomitoria.            

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