Time flies - age grading of adult flies for the estimation of the post-mortem interval

  • The estimation of the minimum time since death is one of the main applications of forensic entomology. This can be done by calculating the age of the immature stage of necrophagous flies developing on the corpse, which is confined to approximately 2–4 weeks, depending on temperature and species of the first colonizing wave of flies. Adding the age of the adult flies developed on the dead body could extend this time frame up to several weeks when the body is in a building or closed premise. However, the techniques for accurately estimating the age of adult flies are still in their beginning stages or not sufficiently validated. Here we review the current state of the art of analysing the aging of flies by evaluating the ovarian development, the amount of pteridine in the eyes, the degree of wing damage, the modification of their cuticular hydrocarbon patterns, and the increasing number of growth layers in the cuticula. New approaches, including the use of age specific molecular profiles based on the levels of gene and protein expression and the application of near infrared spectroscopy, are introduced, and the forensic relevance of these methods is discussed.

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Author:Jens AmendtORCiDGND, Valentina Bugelli, Victoria Christiane Bernhardt
Parent Title (English):Diagnostics
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/01/21
Date of first Publication:2021/01/21
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/07/15
Tag:NIRS; cuticular hydrocarbons; forensic entomology; gene expression; proteomics; pteridine
Issue:2, art. 152
Page Number:13
First Page:1
Last Page:13
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0