Effects of Killing Liquids on the Larval Length of Forensically Important Lucilia sericata

  • Halide Nihal Açıkgöz Ankara University, Institute of Forensic Sciences, Ankara
  • Ali Açıkgöz Turkish Rebuplic of Health Ministry, Havacılar Family Health Center
Keywords: Forensic entomology, Lucilia sericata, Postmortem interval, Larval killing methods


Objective: Forensic entomological practices rely upon accurate larval identification and measurement of larval length, for the estimation of post-mortem intervals. The methods used for killing larvae may affect the length of larvae. In the autopsy hall, corpses which are contain entomological remains have been washed with grape vinegar. Besides, while collecting and killing the larvae on corpses, crime scene teams use ethanol 70% because it is practical.

The aim of this study was to determine which of hot water (90°C), cold vinegar and cold ethanol 96% method, preserved the best the length of larvae.

Materials and Methods: To achieve this aim, third instar larvae which are reared on 200 g of veal meat were killed using hot water, cold vinegar and cold ethanol. Before killing and after killing the maggots, their length was measured. To determine the difference between the groups to be compared ANOVA test, to reliability and validity analyses Kruskal-Wallis and whether there was any difference between the groups were made with Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference (Tukey’s HSD)

Results and Conclusion: Hot water was found to preserve the length of the larvae more accurately than cold vinegar and ethanol. Forensic medicine experts and crime scene teams should kill the larvae collected from a corpse for entomological examination using hot water, dry them in paper towels and preserve them in 96% ethanol and then send them to a forensic entomologist.


Download data is not yet available.


1. Amendt J, Krettek R, Zehner R. . Naturwissenschaften. 2004, 91, (2), 51-65. doi: 10.1007/s00114-003-0493-5
2. Erzinclioglu Z.. Clin. Med. 2003, 3, (1), 74-76.
3. Carvalho RP, Azevedo WTA, Figueiredo AL, Lessa CSS, Aguiar VM. Dipterofauna Associated With Rat Carcasses in the Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil. J. Med. Entomol. 2017, 54, (6), 1498-1509. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjx118
4. Ahmad A, Ahmad A. A preliminary study on the decomposition and dipteran associated with exposed carcasses in an Oil Palm Plantation in Bandar Baharu, Kedah, Malaysia. Trop. Biomed. 2009, 26, (1), 1-10.
5. Joseph I, Mathew D, Sathyan P, Vargheese G. The use of insects in forensic investigations: An overview on the scope of forensic entomology. J. Forensic Dent. Sci. 2011, 3, (2), 89-91. doi: 10.4103/0975-1475.92154
6. Benecke M. Arthropods and corpses. In Tsokos M, Ed. Forensic Pathology Reviews, Humana Press: 2005; Vol. 2, pp 207-240.
7. Amendt J, Campobasso C, Gaudry E, Reiter C, Le Blanc H, Hall M. Best practice in forensic entomology-standards and guidelines. Int. J. Legal Med. 2007, 121, (2), 90-104. doi: 10.1007/s00414-006-0086-x
8. Adams Z, Hall M. Methods used for the killing and preservation of blowfly larvae, and their effect on post-mortem larval length. Forensic Sci. Int. 2003, 138, (1-3), 50-61. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2003.08.010
9. Tantawi T, Greenberg B. The effect of killing and preservative solutions on estimates of maggot age in forensic cases. J. Forensic Sci. 1993, 38, (3), 702-707. doi: 10.1520/ JFS13458J
10. Smith K. A manual of forensic entomology. University Printing House: Oxford, 1986; p 1-102.
11. Anderson G. Minimum and maximum development rates of some forensically important Calliphoridae (Diptera). J For Sci. 2000, 45, (4), 824-832. doi: 10.1520/JFS14778J
12. Grassberger M, Reiter C. Effect of temperature on development of the forensically important holarctic blow fly Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Cal- liphoridae). Forensic Sci. Int. 2002, 128, (3), 177-182. doi: 10.1016/S0379-0738(02)00199-8
13. Gennard D. Forensic entomologye: An inroduction. John Wiley & Sons Ltd: England, 2007.
14. Rosilawati R, Baharudin O, Syamsa R, Lee H, Nazni W. Effects of preservatives and killing methods on morphological features of a forensic fly, Chrysomya megacephala (Fabri- cius, 1794) larva. Trop Biomed. 2014, 31, (4), 785-791.
15. Şaki C, Özer E. Morphology and Develepmont of Several External Myiasis Larvae Recorded in Elazığ. Turk J Vet Anim Sci. 1999, 23, 723-731.
16. Richards CS, Rowlinson CC, Hall MJR. Effects of storage temperature on the change in size of Calliphora vicina larvae during preservation in 80% ethanol. Int. J. Legal Med. 2013, 127, (1), 231-241. doi: 10.1007/s00414-012-0683-9
17. Açıkgöz HN. Olay Yerinden Ekolojik ve Entomolojik Verilerin Toplanması. Jandarma Dergisi. 2013:135;26-33.
How to Cite
Açıkgöz H, Açıkgöz A. Effects of Killing Liquids on the Larval Length of Forensically Important Lucilia sericata. The Bulletin of Legal Medicine [Internet]. 5Apr.2018 [cited 24Apr.2018];23(1):36-8. Available from: http://www.adlitipbulteni.com/index.php/atb/article/view/1167
Research Articles