Forensic Entomology Uses Insects or Arthropods

There are many jobs within the in the field of biology. These jobs range from being a marine biologist, a dentists, or a pharmacologist. There are also jobs that can contribute to criminal cases such as Forensic Entomology. Forensic Entomology uses insects or arthropods from a decomposing body to aid in an investigation. It is a very hard job that needs the best possibly evidence. There are many different cases that Entomologist have to face such as child abuse, car accidents/aircrafts, animal cruelty, homicides, and finding out the time since death.

To begin, Entomologist have been able to use insects to find evidence of child abuse and neglect of the elderly. According to the article ¨What is Forensic Entomology?¨, parents have used bees to sting their children as punishment. (2019) Evidence found by entomologists have proved elder abuse and lack of care. The effect of bees goes even further when it comes to car accidents. The presence of bees may be the reason for car accidents with one person. Some studies have shown that insects were in the top 20 causes of an car accident.

Furthermore, cars were not the only thing that insects had a big impact on. Insects also have an impact on aircrafts. Entomologist were able to see insects could be traced back to engine failure of the aircraft. In addition to, Entomologist have to use certain techniques to find out if an insect was the cause of an accident. The article ¨What is Forensic Entomology?¨ says “Forensic entomologists are also requested to examine the fragmented remains of insects that have impacted and lodged on the front fascia, windshield, and radiator of automobiles. Analysis of such remains can yield evidence to the probable path of an automobile through particular areas when pinpointing the location and areas of travel are of unique importance” (woodbridge). This shows how Entomologist can see how the insects caused a crash and exactly where the crash has occurred.

Using insects to see if that was the cause of the automobile accident is not the only thing they do. They use insects in animal cruelty cases. The way they do this is by determining the estimated time of insect colonization and based on knowledge of the insect’s succession during the decomposing animal remains. This can detect wounds and show the time periods that the neglect took place. The article ¨Forensic Entomology in Animal Cruelty Cases¨says “Knowledge of the geographic distribution of insects that colonize animal remains may suggest that there has been movement or concealment of the carcass or can create associations between a suspect, a victim, and a crime scene. In some instances, it can aid in the detection of drugs or toxins within decomposed or skeletonized remains” (Sage journals 2016). Entomologist can see how the insects play a role in the abuse of the animals. Entomologist are getting requested to do this because it can assist in many critical questions and why there was neglect or the death of an animal.

Another Case a forensic entomologist took on was able to help a Nevada Murder Convictee get exonerated after they were in prison for 17 years. It first started when a girl by the name of Kirstin Lobato escaped from a man and ended up wounding him with a pocketknife that she had. Later on the man was found dead, and the death was linked to Lobato, who was later arrested and convicted of murder. On the website Criminal legal news it said “Sherrer contacted forensic entomologist Gail Anderson. After Sherrer told Anderson what he had and strongly suspected, Anderson agreed to give the case some attention herself. Anderson immediately saw a complete absence of blowflies on the corpse. This is irrefutable evidence that the pathologist’s first time of death estimate, coincidentally the exact same time as her unshakeable alibi, was spot-on accurate” (Lyon 2019). This shows that the blowflies could of had a impact on the body.

The website also states that the victim died in mid-summer, which is a active time that blowflies are out. There was a big amount of blood, which was a good spot for the flies, so they could feed on the liquid. Two forensic entomologist did testify and Lobato was excluded from the trial, but later on another trail came up, and it was not good because the lawyers failed to consult a entomologist to testify. In the end, the entomologist stilled played a big role in this investigation.

Lastly, entomologist are called upon during homicide investigations to figure out the time since death. What happens is the entomologist will estimate the age of the insect that was present during the murder. The article ¨What is Forensic Entomology?¨ says “The forensic entomologist can use a number of different techniques including species succession, larval weight, larval length, and a more technical method known as the accumulated degree hour technique which can be very precise if the necessary data is available. A qualified forensic entomologist can also make inferences as to possible postmortem” (Woodbridge 2019). Also, the website also says how some files prefer to lay eggs outdoor or in a indoor environment. This means that if there was a corpse indoors with the eggs and larvae of files that are typically inhabit in outdoor locations this could mean that someone returned to the scene to move the body or hide it.

If there was no insects present, entomologist can still make an inference on what happened. For example, there could be an altered species succession of insects on the body. This could prevent the insects from laying eggs and change the time frame. If insects were absent, then this could make a entomologist infer that the body was frozen, in a container, or even buried.

Forensic entomologists will always deal with many different case. This can include the neglect of children or the elderly and also animal cruelty. It could also be on how car crushes occur and how insects have such a big impact on telling people how something occurs and when did it occur. There is alot of jobs out in the biology field that help with crimes, but Forensic Entomology shows how it’s important to get details from incesets to aid in big investigations all around the world.