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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • forensic entomology;
  • postmortem interval;
  • degree-days;
  • Creophilus maxillosus;
  • validation

Abstract:  Some carrion insects appear on carcasses late in decomposition. While using these late-arriving taxa to estimate postmortem interval, it is vital to accurately estimate an interval preceding their appearance on a cadaver called the preappearance interval (PAI). This paper tests the possibilities of a PAI estimation from temperature in case of late-arriving, predatory carrion beetle Creophilus maxillosus. The relationship between temperature and PAI of adult and larval C. maxillosus was modeled using the results of a large-scale experiment on succession in forests of Central Europe. In both stages, PAI was found to be strongly, inversely related to temperature averaged for the duration of PAI. The PAI estimation from mean degree-day accumulations (mDDA), estimated DDA, and “PAI*T” functions were tested using external successional data. The greatest accuracy of PAI estimates was achieved using an exponential “PAI*T” function.