Volume 36, Issue 2 (March 1991)
Effect of Heroin in Decomposing Tissues on the Development Rate of Boettcherisca peregrina (Diptera, Sarcophagidae) and Implications of This Effect on Estimation of Postmortem Intervals Using Arthropod Development Patterns
Larvae of the flesh fly Boettcherisca peregrina (Robineau-Desvoidy) were reared on the tissues of rabbits to study the effects of heroin on the development rates of this species. The rabbits were given 6, 12, 18, and 24 mg of heroin by cardiac puncture. From Hours 18 to 96, larvae feeding on tissues containing heroin (as morphine) developed more rapidly than those feeding on tissues from the control. The time required for pupation was significantly greater for colonies fed on tissues from heroin-dosed rabbits than for the control colony. The differences observed in the rates of development were sufficient to alter postmortem interval estimates based on larval development by up to 29 h and estimates based on pupal development by 18 to 38 h.