Existing Data with Forensic Relevance 431 Taxonomy

One of the key needs of a forensic entomologist is a method of identifying insects found on corpses. Necrophagous Coleoptera found on older or dryer corpses can be identified using the keys provided in the stored product literature, such as

Hinton (1945) and Gorham (1987). Works more specifically about stored product pests are also useful. Dermestidae (Fig. 4.2) adults (Mroczkowski 1968; Peacock 1993) and larvae (Rees 1947; Adams 1980; Zhantiev and Volkova 1998, 1999) are

Fig. 4.2 Two common and near-cosmopolitan beetles found on corpses are Dermestes macula-tus (above) and Necrobia rufipes (below). Both species occur on corpses of all sizes and in stored products

common on corpses and most are cosmopolitan, making identification easier. Cleridae are represented by a few species of Necrobia, particularly N. rufipes (Fig. 4.2), that are widespread stored product pests, which simplifies their identification (Smith 1986; Gorham 1987; Rajendran and Hajira Parveen 2005). Ptinidae are also found on dessicated bodies, and can be identified using Brown (1940), Harney (1993) or Irish (1999).

For exclusively necrophilous species, such as Silphidae, Staphylinidae and Histeridae, identification is not as easy because many of them are neither cosmopolitan nor pestilent. Their identification therefore depends on the taxonomic advancement of the broad geographic area in which the corpse is located. African and Australian Silphidae can be identified using Schawaller (1981, 1987) and Peck (2001), and the Afrotropical Trogidae using Scholtz (1980, 1982) and van der Merwe and Scholtz (2005); these works allow easy identification of these species. With a little more effort, one can identify many genera of Histeridae using Caterino and Vogler (2002) and all tribes of Staphylinidae using Solodovnikov and Newton (2005); Catalogues of local necrophilous beetles, such as the Turkish species found by Ă–zdemir and Sert (2008), can provide easy identification of beetles in a given area, but should be used with caution outside of the geographic range treated.

0 0

Post a comment