Entomological Facilitation of Post Mortem by Blowflies


Mirza Aizaz Asim*1 Zain ul Abdin*1 Faisal Munir*1,Haider Ali*1, Sana Rashid*2  Kanza Ghaffar*2.

1Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

2Department of Zoology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Corresponding Author: Mirza Aizaz Asim

Email Id: [email protected]

Contact no. 03105968499




Post mortems are the most imperative part of the investigation process after someone has died in suspicious circumstances, where they are usually performed to acquire the possible cause of the death. Likewise, the approximation of the death time is nothing short of cutting a “Gordian Knot”. However, the thorough analysis of the life cycle of different insects particularly Calliphoridae in deceased, is considerable in this regard in other words, Forensic Entomologists approximate the death time by estimating the spawning hours of Calliphoridae in a dead body, as they are largely attracted towards the corpse.


Life cycle of a blow fly is not very long; it also doesn’t take long to reach the dead or decomposing body. Eggs are immediately laid when they get there. These eggs are hatch into larvae and after that they have served their purpose they enter the next stage of their life. They stay cocooned in the body for adult two weeks. This is because of the temperature and constant temperature required is 70 degrees. Forensic Entomologists are able to approximately determine the victim died base on the different life stages of blowfly life-cycle.

DAY 1:      Adult flies arrive at body and immediately lay their eggs.

DAY 2:      From these eggs, larvae come out.

DAY 3-7:  During these days’ larvae grow and just grow.

DAY8-9:   After few days, the larvae from a hard cocoon around themselves to protect themselves and develop into an adult blowfly.

After 2 weeks, an adult blowfly emerges from the cocoon. As Calliphoridae can lay thousands of eggs maturing in 7-11 weeks, the potential for blow fly induced illnesses and parasitic infestations increases in ideal situations. Linked to bacterial infestations and transmitting salmonella as well, blow flies in your home need to be addressed, their breeding grounds removed and sanitation procedures set in motion.


Estimating of the Post mortem interval (PMI) is one of the most critical matters in autopsies and entomological specimens have been widely used to determine PMI after 72 hours of death. This is done using the oldest blowflies’ larvae found and from the succession pattern of insects that colonize the dead remains. Thus, the use of Calliphoridae pattern of insects that colonize the dead remains are crucial. Some cases involve the use of firearms. The forensic investigation of such cases requires physical evidence to be collected at the scene of the crime. In extreme conditions, when the bullet case is not found and the dead body is actively decomposing. Calliphoridae maggots obtained from the dead remains hold potential clues in aiding the forensic investigation.                                                                           


Within very short interval of time after human death, they come in the scene. These developmental stages of flies to determine when person expired but there are many other species specific developmental rates, and through their adult from apart is clear, telling their eggs apart can be tricky. Researcher had two options to identify species: – They could sample the larvae found on the corpse and grow them in lab, which take weeks or choose DNA profiling, which is often expensive. Now research has come up with a three minute methods of categorizing the eggs laid by using an analytical technique called mass spectrometry, which gives a picture of the mass based chemical composition of a sample, chemical and engineering news reports. The method is ready being used is an active investigation by forensic scientists and is contributing to a growing database of blow fly egg profile.


calliphoridae can smell dead meat from as far as mile away and are usually first insects to find dead animal matter. Because blow flies require a considerable amount of protein to develop past their larvae maggot phases, female blow flies seek dead and decaying flesh as the ideal place to lay their eggs. The common signs of calliporidae are either the adult themselves or their larvae. The adults may be seen resting on surfaces or buzzing around potential food or odor sources. The larvae may be observed when they crawl out of breeding material to pupate.

1: Blow files make loud buzzing sounds, they do not bite humans.

2: Blow fly do cause dangerous health threats to humans and animals.

3:  Maggots debridement therapy (MDT) is used to treat some diseases.

4:  Adult blow flies create a plethora of disease potentials for humans, as they fly from dung and carrion to trash to your blood. Blow flies are responsible for carrying the bacteria that causes dysentery, typhus and cholera.


By keeping in view the above information of Post mortem facilitated by the blowfly, Forensic entomology is an emerging field in the forensic sciences, where the insects feeding on corpses are studied. It has become an important tool in criminal investigations.


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