The Effects of Blood Glucose Levels on the Attraction of Forensically Important Flies


  • Macy Strain Texas A&M University


Abstract: Necrophagous flies are flies that feed on decaying flesh. The two main families of flies that feed on decaying remains are Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, and these particular families can aid in forensic investigation due to their attraction to decaying matter such as human remains. This experiment focused on the attraction of forensically important flies to different blood glucose levels and attempts to answer the question of whether someone with elevated blood glucose levels at the time of death would attract more flies than someone with normal blood glucose levels at death. This information could be especially applicable to remains with open wounds or crime scenes in which lots of blood is present. To investigate this, fly traps containing bovine blood of different glucose levels were set outside for six days at a time. At the end of each six-day period, the flies from each trap were collected, counted, frozen, and analyzed to determine each specimen’s family. It was determined that elevated blood glucose levels do attract more flies, particularly Calliphoridae, than normal blood glucose levels, as the most flies were found in one of the increased glucose level traps for all three trials.