Use of aquatic insects in determining submersion interval

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

42 Scopus citations


Although its potential is great, the use of aquatic insects in determining submersion intervals at death-scene investigations has not been exploited in the past. Aquatic environments have no known true specific indicator species, as do terrestrial habitats. However, aquatic environmental studies show that organisms may colonize a substrate dependent on factors such as size, position, exposure to current, water temperature, current speed, water depth, the presence of algal communities, or detritus. Certain aquatic insects such as the chironomid midges (Diptera, Chironomidae), and the caddisflies (Trichoptera), are capable of colonizing immersed bodies; and with the known biology of a specific species of insect for a certain geographic area, time intervals of submersion can be established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-632
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics

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    Haskell, N. H., McShaffrey, D. G., Hawley, D. A., Williams, R. E., & Pless, J. E. (1989). Use of aquatic insects in determining submersion interval. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 34(3), 622-632.