OSHR 3079 - Debugging the Time of Death: Forensic Entomology (Perk Series Lecture)

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

The most commonly associated aspect of forensic entomology deals with the area of medico-legal or medico-criminal forensic entomology related to the determination of time since death or the length of the postmortem interval. To accomplish this task, arthropods constitute a major element, with insects as the predominant group, both in terms of species richness and abundance.

During the earlier portions of the decomposition process, Diptera larvae, particularly the Calliphoridae or blow flies and the Sarcophagidae, or flesh flies, provide the most reliable basis for estimation of the minimum postmortem interval. These flies arrive usually within minutes following death during the warm period of the year. The postmortem interval estimate is based on the period of time for the larvae recovered from a corpse to reach the stage of development observed.

This course will investigate the concepts and applications that are characteristic of forensic entomology.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.