Volume 50, Issue 2 (March 2005)
Successional Behavior and Occurrence Matrix of Carrion-Associated Arthropods in the Urban Area of Medellín, Colombia
Forensic entomology is a scientific tool applied to the study of insect or arthropod succession at the scene of a crime or that associated with an accident or natural death. Interpreting this succession provides information to determine minimum and maximum limits of the Postmortem Interval (PMI), that is, the time between death and the discovery of the body. This study was carried out during the rainy season, from 27 October to 12 December 2002 in an urban area of the city of Medellín, Colombia. Three domestic pigs were used as animal models. The results showed that both the aforementioned species as well as the physical characteristics of the carcass determined the indicator species of the postmortem interval in urban areas of the city. In total, 11,937 individuals were collected and identified, belonging to 12 orders, 29 families and 42 genera. Diptera were the most abundant order (90%) represented mainly by Calliphoridae (80%). Coleoptera were scarcely present, representing only 2.8% of the total collected. Based on information obtained of eggs and larvae reared to adult of this successional study, an occurrence matrix was elaborated for determining of the PMI. From the same study area and under the same conditions, a list of arthropods associated with carrion is presented in this manuscript.