Arthropod development can be used to determine the time of colonization of human remains to infer a minimum postmortem interval. The black soldier fly, Hermetia illucen. L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) is native to North America and is unique in that its larvae can consume a wide range of decomposing organic material, including carrion. Larvae development was observed on six resources: control poultry feed, liver, manure, kitchen waste, fruits and vegetables, and fish rendering. Larvae fed manure were shorter, weighed less, and took longer to develop. Kitchen waste produced longer and heavier larvae, whereas larvae fed fish had almost 100% mortality. Black soldier flies can colonize human remains, which in many instances can coincide with food and organic wastes. Therefore, it is necessary to understand black soldier fly development on different food resources other than carrion tissue to properly estimate their age when recovered from human remains.
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Vol. 50 • No. 4