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The Black Soldier-fly, Hermetia illucens (Diptera, Stratiomyidae), Used to Estimate the Postmortem Interval in a Case in Amapá State, Brazil

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The black soldier-fly (Hermetia illucens) is a generalist detritivore which is commonly present in corpses in later stages of decomposition and may be useful in forensic entomology. This paper describes the estimation of the postmortem interval (PMI) based on the life cycle of the black soldier-fly in a case in northern Brazil. A male child was abducted from his home and 42 days later his corpse was found in an advanced stage of decay. Two black soldier-fly larvae were found associated with the body. The larvae emerged as adults after 25–26 days. Considering the development cycle of H. illucens, the date of oviposition was estimated as 24–25 days after abduction. Since H. illucens usually (but not always) colonizes corpses in more advanced stages of decay, this estimate is consistent with the hypothesis that the child was killed immediately after abduction.
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Keywords: Hermetia illucens; black soldier-fly; forensic science; postmortem interval

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Zoologia and Núcleo de Entomologia Urbana e Forense, Universidade de Brasília, 70910-900 Brasília, DF, Brazil. 2: Polícia Técnico-científica do Estado do Amapá, Rodovia BR 210, Km 02. Bairro São Lázaro, 68908-130 Macapá, AP, Brazil.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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