Changes in the Morphology and Presumptive Chemistry of Impact and Pooled Bloodstain Patterns by Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae)


  • Presented in part at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 22–27, 2010, in Seattle, WA.

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David O. Carter, Ph.D.
Department of Entomology
202 Entomology Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68583-0816


Abstract:  Bloodstain pattern analysis can be critical to accurate crime scene reconstruction. However, bloodstain patterns can be altered in the presence of insects and can confound crime scene reconstruction. To address this problem, we conducted a series of controlled laboratory experiments to investigate the effect of Lucilia sericata (Meigen) on impact bloodstains and pooled bloodstains in association with three combinations of common surfaces (linoleum/painted drywall, wood floor/wallpaper, and carpet/wood paneling). L. sericata fed from the pooled bloodstains and added insect stains through regurgitation and defecation of consumed blood. L. sericata formed defecatory trails of insect stains that indicated directionality. Defecatory stains fluoresced when viewed at 465 nm with an orange filter. These observations differed from Calliphora vicina insect stains because feeding on blood spatter was not observed and trails of insect stains were formed by L. sericata. The fluorescence of defecatory stains can be used as a method to detect insect stains and discriminate them from real bloodstains.