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Forensic entomology: the use of Arthropods for determination of time, local, cause and circumstances of death

Abstract

Forensic Entomology can be defined as the study of insects and other arthropods in order to provide information that may be useful in death investigations. In particular, careful analysis of the insects and arthropods on the cadaver may provide information on the time of death (post-mortem interval or PMI), site and possible causes of death, as well as eventual displacement of the corpse. With such analyses, it is also possible to link suspects with the crime scene and to search for toxic substances that may be present either in the corpse or in the insects collected from the body or in its surroundings. For an accurate estimate of the PMI, correct identification of the insects associated with decomposition is essential, such as the knowledge of their life cycle and their biological and ecological characteristics, in addition to parameters and variables that might affect the insect development and behavior. The insects can also be important indicators of displacement of the cadaver, in the field, since they are the first to arrive on the scene. In addition, the species composition in the geographical region where the body is discovered provides evidence to determine if the victim had been moved from the original place where death occurred. Thus, this study objectives to study the effect of toxic substances on the rate of development of forensic important necrophagous species, to evaluate and to develop methodological and operational parameters to isolation, identification and determination of toxic substances in insects as well as their concentration, and to correlate these variables with the investigation of the possible causes and circumstances of death. Furthermore, this study also objectives to investigate aspects of the post-feeding dispersal of the larvae as well as to get information on population dynamics and variability, and to determine the interspecific associations, in order to be able to distinguish different populations of Diptera of forensic importance. This information is of great importance in the determination of the time, local, causes and circumstances of death. (AU)

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Scientific publications (8)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
THYSSEN, PATRICIA JACQUELINE; DE SOUZA, CARINA MARA; SHIMAMOTO, PAULA MIDORI; SALEWSKI, THAIS DE BRITTO; MORETTI, THIAGO CARVALHO. Rates of development of immatures of three species of Chrysomya (Diptera: Calliphoridae) reared in different types of animal tissues: implications for estimating the postmortem interval. Parasitology Research, v. 113, n. 9, p. 8-pg., . (04/08544-0)
SOUZA, C. M.; THYSSEN, P. J.; LINHARES, A. X.. Effect of Nandrolone Decanoate on the Development of Three Species of Chrysomya (Diptera: Calliphoridae), Flies of Forensic Importance in Brazil. Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 48, n. 1, p. 111-117, . (04/08544-0)
MORETTI, THIAGO DE CARVALHO; THYSSEN, PATRICIA JACQUELINE; SOLIS, DANIEL RUSS. Breeding of the Scuttle Fly Megaselia scalaris in a fish Carcass and Implications for the use in Forensic Entomology (Diptera: Phoridae).. ENTOMOLOGIA GENERALIS, v. 31, n. 4, p. 349-353, . (04/08544-0)
SOUZA, CARINA M.; LIMA, CAROLINA G. P.; ALVES-, JR., MARCOS J.; ARRAIS-SILVA, WAGNER W.; GIORGIO, SELMA; LINHARES, ARICIO X.; THYSSEN, PATRICIA J.. Standardization of Histological Procedures for the Detection of Toxic Substances by Immunohistochemistry in Dipteran Larvae of Forensic Importance. JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, v. 58, n. 4, p. 1015-1021, . (04/08544-0)
MARTINS, E.; NEVES, J. A.; MORETTI, T. C.; GODOY, W. A. C.; THYSSEN, P. J.. Breeding of Ornidia obesa (Diptera: Syrphidae: Eristalinae) on Pig Carcasses in Brazil. Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 47, n. 4, p. 690-694, . (04/08544-0)
MORETTI, THIAGO DE CARVALHO; CONDE GODOY, WESLEY AUGUSTO. Spatio-Temporal Dynamics and Preference for Type of Bait in Necrophagous Insects, Particularly Native and Introduced Blow Flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 50, n. 2, p. 415-424, . (04/08544-0)
MORETTI, THIAGO DE CARVALHO; GIANNOTTI, EDILBERTO; THYSSEN, PATRICIA JACQUELINE; SOLIS, DANIEL RUSS; CONDE GODOY, WESLEY AUGUSTO. Bait and Habitat Preferences, and Temporal Variability of Social Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) Attracted to Vertebrate Carrion. Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 48, n. 5, p. 1069-1075, . (04/08544-0)
THYSSEN, PATRICIA JACQUELINE; DE SOUZA, CARINA MARA; SHIMAMOTO, PAULA MIDORI; SALEWSKI, THAIS DE BRITTO; MORETTI, THIAGO CARVALHO. Rates of development of immatures of three species of Chrysomya (Diptera: Calliphoridae) reared in different types of animal tissues: implications for estimating the postmortem interval. Parasitology Research, v. 113, n. 9, p. 3373-3380, . (04/08544-0)

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