Toxicology

It has proven possible to extract traces of certain drugs from the larvae (Bourel et al. 2001a), pupae (Bourel et al. 2001b) and exuviae of beetles (Miller et al. 1994). Beetle exuviae are moderately tough, and may remain at a death scene long after the corpse has decomposed beyond toxicological analysis, thus providing a useful source of toxicological samples.

Although the developmental responses of fly larvae to drugs in their food have been well studied, the same is not true of beetles. Studies have been conducted on beetle responses to some plant materials (Egwunyenga et al 1998; Fasakin and Aberejo 2002), and using this information can assist in some PMImn estimates. More dedicated research in this field is needed to refine PMI estimates.

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