Identification of a red 'fiber': Chironomid larvae

D. A. Hawley, N. H. Haskell, D. G. McShaffrey, R. E. Williams, J. E. Pless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


During preliminary examination of the body of a homicide victim, a peculiar red 'fiber' was noticed and recovered. Initially believing this to be a carpet fiber, the item was subjected to fiber analysis. It was found to be a short coiled particle not like any known natural or synthetic fabric fiber. Subsequent examinations determined this 'fiber' to be the larva of a common freshwater midge (Diptera; Chironomidae). Chironomid larvae have been observed on other bodies recovered from freshwater environments. Entomological studies of this organism have led to the conclusion that the presence of chironomid larvae indicates submersion of the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-621
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of a red 'fiber': Chironomid larvae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Hawley, D. A., Haskell, N. H., McShaffrey, D. G., Williams, R. E., & Pless, J. E. (1989). Identification of a red 'fiber': Chironomid larvae. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 34(3), 617-621.