We present an indoor forensic case that occurred in spring 2013 in Cosenza (southern Italy). The entomological evidence collected at the scene consisted of Calliphoridae (Calliphora vicina, Lucilia sericata), Sarcophagidae (Sarcophaga crassipalpis), Fanniidae (Fannia scalaris) and Muscidae (Hydrotaea ignava). The minimum Post Mortem Interval (mPMI) was calculated by relating the entomological evidence to data available for Diptera species in the area and to our knowledge of the development of flies used as forensic indicators in Calabria. We report S. crassipalpisas a corpse invader for the first time in Italy.
The first aim of forensic entomology is to help investigators estimate the time of death. Its application has become widespread in many countries because the entomological evidence on corpses (especially Diptera and Coleoptera) can be used to estimate the minimum Post Mortem Interval (mPMI) at both indoor and outdoor crime scenes. The arthropod community discovered on a corpse or around it is affected by extrinsic and intrinsic factors . The geographical area, the season and the habitat are very important in determining the composition of the faunal succession and the seasonal dynamics of insects [2,3] on exposed corpses. Knowledge of the distribution and ecological preferences of arthropod forensic indicators in a particular area [4-7] is very useful for PMI estimation and crime scene analysis. In particular, synanthropic flies, the most accurate indicators of the time of death, have been recognized on human corpses in many countries [8,9]. Until recent investigations in Calabria, southern Italy [4-7], investigators evaluating the insects collected at crime scenes in that region based their conclusions on data recorded mainly from central Europe. In the present case, five species belonging to the families Calliphoridae (Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy 1830, Lucilia sericata (Meigen 1826)), Sarcophagidae (Sarcophaga (Liopygia) crassipalpis Macquart 1839), Fanniidae (Fannia scalaris (Fabricius 1794)) and Muscidae (Hydrotaea ignava (Harris 1780)) were collected at the scene. In particular, we discussed the presence of S. crassipalpis: this is the first time the species has been collected on a corpse in Italy. mPMI was estimated on Calliphora vicina samples as discussed in the result section.
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