insect wave Theory Forensic Entomology

(1828 - 1905)

Dr. Jean Pierre Megnin graduated from Alfort Veterinary School in 1853. He is well known for his work and papers on Forensic Entomology. Dr. Megnin also spent years studying and documenting the predictability of insect colonization in cadavers.

what is forensic Entomology?

  • Forensic Entomology is the use of insects that inhabit decomposing remains to aid legal investigations.
  • Forensic Entomologists use insects to help determine the approximate time of death of a corpse.

How ?

How can insects tell us time of death? Forensic entomologists use two main methods to evaluate the time of death in, one method looks at what type of insects are on and in the decomposing body and the other uses the life stages and life cycles of certain insects to establish how long a body has been dead.

Different stages of decomposition attract different types of insects -

Bugs Present in First stages of Decomposition: blowfly, maggot, flesh fly, beetles

Modern Day Entomology

Many new techniques have been developed and are used to more accurately gather evidence. These include the following:

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy- helps with estimating a post mortem interval, along with other relevant information, such as whether the body has been disturbed post mortem.
  • Potassium Permanganate Staining- similar to first technique, it is cheaper and faster.
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