Volume 28, Issue 2 (April 1983)
Insect Activity and its Relationship to Decay Rates of Human Cadavers in East Tennessee
This is the first report on an ongoing study conducted to collect data on the specific insects that are found in association with decaying human cadavers. Four nude unembalmed human cadavers were each placed, at various times of the year, within a decay research facility located in open wooded area. Data were collected daily throughout the entire decay cycle on the various insect populations that frequented each cadaver. Analysis of the data shows that there is a direct correlation between the rate of decay and the succession of insect families and species found in association with a decaying cadaver. Application of this entomological information can contribute to a more accurate estimation of “time since death” of an individual.