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12 March 2020 Characterization of Insect Stains Deposited by Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on Shirt Fabrics
David B. Rivers, Brendan Dunphy, Claire Hammerschmidt, Alexandra Carrigan
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Despite the fact that necrophagous flies are known to alter bloodstains and create unique artifacts, no research has occurred to date that has examined the characteristics of insect stains on textiles or fabrics. This study represents the first effort to characterize artifacts produced by adult Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy deposited on a range of shirt fabrics that varied in type, color, orientation, and yarn tension. In general, artifact morphology on any type of fabric was distorted in comparison to those observed on smooth and/or nonporous surfaces in previous studies. Consequently, distinction of artifact type could only be made broadly as digestive artifacts and transfer patterns, in which the latter was predominantly detected as tarsal tracks. None of the artifacts displayed satellite stains typical of human bloodstains found on textiles. Wicking was evident on all fabrics but was most pronounced with dri wick and jersey knit polyester in comparison to cotton knit. Digestive artifacts on any colored fabric, but especially with green and yellow shirt samples, resembled the reported color, size, and morphology of bloodstains generated in laboratory studies on a range of fabrics. Unique digestive artifacts were also detected as small, black, and nearly spherical. These defecatory stains did not appear to wet or wick into any of the fabrics. Digestive artifacts and tarsal tracks differentially interacted with front face stitch loops of clothing fabrics to yield distinct stain patterns. The implications of these observations in reference to bloodstain pattern analysis at crime scenes are discussed.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
David B. Rivers, Brendan Dunphy, Claire Hammerschmidt, and Alexandra Carrigan "Characterization of Insect Stains Deposited by Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) on Shirt Fabrics," Journal of Medical Entomology 57(5), 1399-1406, (12 March 2020).
Received: 17 December 2019; Accepted: 12 February 2020; Published: 12 March 2020

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artifact morphology
blow fly
fly artifact
forensic entomology
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