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Forensic Sci Int. 2001 Aug 15;120(1-2):28-31.

Postmortem interval (PMI) determined by study sarcophagous biocenoses: three cases from the province of Venice (Italy).

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Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Padova, Via U. Bassi 58/B, 35131 Padua, Italy.


This paper presents and discusses three cases of cadavers found, unburied, in the province of Venice, Northern Italy. In each case, all insect species playing some role in carrion decay processes, both sarcophagous and their predators, found on or in the bodies, were collected and determined. In one case, many larvae of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) were found and are reported, for the first time in Italy, as necrophagous. Experimental breeding of some fly species was also carried out in controlled temperature and humidity conditions. In particular, it was of interest to know how the Neotropical black soldier fly modified its life-cycle to adapt to a temperate climate. It was thus possible to establish the rate of larval growth and timing of pupation, emergence, oviposition and hatching in various external conditions. The postmortem interval (PMI) established by identifying the life-cycle stages of dipterofauna were later confirmed in all cases through police investigations and the results of forensic analyses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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