Fly Stains

Forensic Entomology for practitioners and educators in forensic science.

About Fly Stains

David B. Rivers, Professor of Biology and Director of Forensic Studies at Loyola University Maryland,  leads the forensic entomology research team, which is funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Several species of flies can hinder investigations of violent crimes by leaving stains (regurgitate and feces) that can be easily mistaken for human body fluids. 

At present, there is no methodology available to reliably distinguish these contaminating insect artifacts (i.e., stains) produced by flies or any other insects that feed on a corpse from stains derived from human body fluids.  

Current approaches depend on visual and contextual analyses, which are then subjectively interpreted based on the experience of the forensic expert.

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Fly stains after feeding on blood

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David Rivers, Ph.D.
Director of Forensic Studies
Department of Biology

Loyola University Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland
tel (410) 617-2057

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