To date, entomology has not been used in legal investigations in Kuwait. Indeed, this is true of most Arab countries in the Middle East. There are no known studies on necrophagous species in the region, nor any knowledge of cadaver succession with which to compare case material. Here we report the first case of application of forensic entomology in Kuwait. In Al-Rowdah district, a man was found dead in his bedroom which was air-conditioned and the windows were closed. The temperature of the room was 20°C. The cause of death was morphine overdose. At autopsy, fly larvae were collected from the blanket with which the body was wrapped and were identified as postfeeding 3rd instars of Parasarcophaga (Liopygia) ruficornis using molecular analysis. In addition, the face and neck were extensively and exclusively colonized by different stages of Chrysomya albiceps (secondary fly). Based on the age of P. ruficornis full mature 3rd instars and the location of the body, approximately 7.5-8.5 days postmortem was estimated for the corpse at the time of its discovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rabbit carcasses were used to compare rates of decomposition and associated assemblages of Diptera at four discernable habitat types in Kuwait; a country of a region with a paucity of such reference data. Carcasses in an urban habitat showed faster decomposition (as measured by percentage weight loss) than in agricultural, coastal or desert habitats, even with accumulated degree days (ADD) as the explanatory variable (t=2.73, df=34, p=0.010) to compensate for temperature differences. Taxa of Diptera at the four habitats became more similar as decomposition progressed, suggesting such differences between habitats were not marked. The occurrence of Chrysomyia megacephala and Lucilia sericata had not previously been recorded in Kuwait.
Forensic science international 10/2011; 217(1-3):27-31. DOI:10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.09.021 · 2.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carrion flies in the taxonomic family Sarcophagidae are often recovered from a human corpse. However, because such specimens are difficult to identify, the forensic literature on this taxon is quite limited compared with that of the commonly employed Calliphoridae. Faced with a sarcophagid larva that could not be identified microscopically from a death investigation in the state of Idaho, we generated cytochrome oxidase one DNA sequence data from the specimen. Comparison to a reference data set of forensically significant sarcophagids from Canada and the U.S.A. confirmed that this was the first discovery of Blaesoxipha plinthopyga in a human corpse in the U.S.A. and the first record of this species in Idaho. Because B. plinthopyga occurs from the Northern U.S.A. to the Neotropics, it is potentially useful for estimating time since death at many locations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Southern Brazil is unique due to its subtropical climate. Here, we report on the first forensic entomology case and the first record of Sarconesia chlorogaster (Wiedemann) in a human corpse in this region. Flies' samples were collected from a body indoors at 20°C. Four species were found, but only Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) and S. chlorogaster were used to estimate the minimum postmortem interval (mPMI). The mPMI was calculated using accumulated degree hour (ADH) and developmental time. The S. chlorogaster puparium collected was light in color, so we used an experiment to establish a more accurate estimate for time since initiation of pupation where we found full tanning after 3 h. Development of C. albiceps at 20°C to the end of the third instar is 7.4 days. The mPMI based on S. chlorogaster (developmental time until the third instar with no more than 3 h of pupae development) was 7.6 days.
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