The most common insect used for identifying time of death in the field of forensic entomology is the blow fly, because they are most often the first insect to colonize the body (James, Nordby 2005). Blow flies arrive at a body within ten minutes of catching its scent and lay their eggs soon after (Shipman 2011). The average lifecycle of a blow fly is “16 to 35 days, depending on temperature and environmental conditions” and begins with the larval stage (Texas A&M). The larval stage itself is divided into first, second, and third instar stages (James, Nordby 2005). A first instar larvae are weak and lack the mouthparts necessary to break skin, so the female blow fly will deposit her eggs near an open wound or the natural orifices of the body, where the larvae can feed on the liquids present (James, Nordby 2005). Second instar larvae are stronger, larger, and have special proteolytic enzymes they use to enter the body (James, Nordby 2005). Proteolytic enzymes are “any of a group of enzymes that break the long chainlike molecules of proteins into sh...
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