Presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, November 29—December 2, 2010, Toronto, Canada; the 2nd Annual Graduate Student Conference at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, May 18-20, 2011, Oshawa, Canada; and at the 9th Annual North American Forensic Entomology Association Meeting, July 20-22, 2011, College Station, TX.
Article first published online: 27 DEC 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 58, Issue 2, pages 413–418, March 2013
How to Cite
Bygarski, K. and LeBlanc, H. N. (2013), Decomposition and Arthropod Succession in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58: 413–418. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12032
Support for this research was provided by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Additional support was provided by the RCMP, the Northern Research Institute, and Yukon College.
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 27 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 19 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 25 AUG 2011
- forensic science;
- forensic entomology;
- arthropod succession;
- northern environment
Forensic arthropod succession patterns are known to vary between regions. However, the northern habitats of the globe have been largely left unstudied. Three pig carcasses were studied outdoors in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Adult and immature insects were collected for identification and comparison. The dominant Diptera and Coleoptera species at all carcasses were Protophormia terraneovae (R-D) (Fam: Calliphoridae) and Thanatophilus lapponicus (Herbst) (Fam: Silphidae), respectively. Rate of decomposition, patterns of Diptera and Coleoptera succession, and species dominance were shown to differ from previous studies in temperate regions, particularly as P. terraenovae showed complete dominance among blowfly species. Rate of decomposition through the first four stages was generally slow, and the last stage of decomposition was not observed at any carcass due to time constraints. It is concluded that biogeoclimatic range has a significant effect on insect presence and rate of decomposition, making it an important factor to consider when calculating a postmortem interval.