Forensic entomology is the study of arthropods concerning their application in crime scene investigation as a method of predicting postmortem interval (PMI) in deceased or missing individuals. PMI is determined by the life stage of insects present on-scene. Insects used in criminal investigations are primarily beetles, flies, or moths; this may also include various scavenging insects and hitchhiking mites. These creatures help colonize decayed tissue, providing crime scene personnel with live specimens collected and examined for biological evidence. Forensic entomology is currently a niche application in most investigations—as qualified entomologists are often needed—and proper analysis of collected evidence can be complex; however, with time, this forensic subdiscipline can be increasingly valuable as insect populations rise alongside global temperatures.
"Current Applications and Limitations of Forensic Entomology,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 8
, Article 4.