Forensic implications of the development of maggots in cadavers

Criminology Research Council grant ; (2/78)

This research, conducted by Ms Beryl Morris, was based on the fact that flies are known to be one of the first visitors to carcases and cadavers. They lay eggs on or in the carrion and the larvae develop through three growth stages before leaving the carcase in order to pupate. Entomologists have used the developmental stage of the maggots, the state of decomposition of the carcase and the presence of other arthropods to provide information on the time which has elapsed since death of human cadavers.

Using this grant studies have examined the influence of seasonal abundance, geographical distribution, rates of development, identification of larval stages and temperatures in carcases. This research is continuing and its practical application to forensic scientists has yet to be established.