keywords: Carrions, Chrysomya albiceps, cypermethrin, forensic entomology, post mortem interval
This research work assessed effects of varying volumes of cypermethrin pesticide on the larval body length, weight, and developmental time of blowfly Chrysomya albiceps (Diptera: Calliphoridae) reared on rabbit carrions. Sixteen rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) with mean weight 2.14±0.18 kg (Mean ± S.D.) were sacrificed in groups of four with 3, 6 and 12 ml, respectively of cypermethrin pesticide. The control group (no cypermethrin pesticide) was sacrificed by cervical dislocation. These dosages are the same with those that are normally observed in homicide and abusive cases involving cypermethrin pesticide injection doses. Mettler Toledo weighing balance (with sensitivity of 0.001-1 g) was used to record the weights of larvae and a pair of compasses was used to measure the body length and read with a transparent meter rule. All stages of the insect were monitored and observations recorded. The mean minimum lengths and weights, i.e. 0.0045 g: 03.95 mm for 12 ml; 0.0053 g: 05.77 mm for 6 ml, and 0.0074 g: 06.56 mm for 3 ml were attained at 108 h after eggs were laid compared to the control group that recorded 0.0123 g: 11.13 mm at the same time. The mean total developmental periods were reached at 450.22 h (18.76 days), 401.05 h (16.71 days), 380.28 h (15.85 days) and 281.24 h (11.42 days) respectively for 12 ml, 6 ml, 3 ml groups, and the control. This result showed the possible post mortem interval estimation error of 7.34 days, 5.29 days and 4.43 days respectively in cases where 12, 6 and 3 ml dosages of cypermethrin pesticide are involved compared with the control group. Absolute care must be employed in the calculation, interpretation and usage of insects’ data in forensic entomology, when and where toxins and drugs may be involved in the investigation.
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