Crime Scene and Body Alterations caused by Arthropods: Implications in Death Investigation.

Stefano Vanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The activity of arthropods on corpses has been largely investigated, since they can produce information to reconstruct the peri-mortem events. However, the feeding/movement activity of insects around the crime scene, among the clothes and on the body, can also cause some alterations that can lead to wrong reconstruction and misinterpretations. This article summarises all the post-mortem arthropods artefacts related to the scene (i.e. fly artefacts and floor stripes) and the body (i.e. skin and other soft tissue alterations, bone alterations and hair alterations) that can mislead the forensic pathologist, discussing macroscopic and microscopic findings derived from forensic casework and from experimental laboratory studies, in order to provide a useful instrument to avoid misinterpretations and evaluation errors. Finally, some procedural notes for the documentation and the interpretation of findings are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


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