INSECT SUCCESSION ON WRAPPED RABBIT CARCASSES AS A MODEL IN FORENSIC ENTOMOLOGYTjandra Anggraeni and Putri Amara
One of the roles of insects in life is as an agent in nutrient cycling together with microorganisms, through decay and degradation of matter. Applications in that role are utilized for the development of forensic entomology, which can help solve the problem of timing and causes of death. A person who dies because of crime is often found in a wrapped condition which interferes the decomposition process and makes it difficult to identify the timing of the incident. This study aims to determine the effect of wrapping on the decay process associated with the presence of insects using rabbits as animal models. The research was conducted in Purwoasri village, Metro Utara sub-district, Lampung province, using 3 male rabbits weighing 2-3 kg and quickly killed by cutting the carotid artery. Carcass I was wrapped in a sack, carcass II as control was not wrapped, and carcass III was wrapped in a plastic. Observations included the microclimate measurements, the carcasses temperature and process of decay, and the presence of species and numbers of insects. The results showed that the microclimate environment where each carcass was placed was not significantly different, although in the first 24h, the carcass temperature of both wrapped rabbits was higher than the ambient temperature. All rabbits undergo a process of decomposition starting from the fresh stage, bloated stage, decay stage, post decay stage, and skeletal stage, but at varying speeds. Post decay in carcass II (control), in carcass I (sack), and carcass III (plastic), occurred at 72h, 120h, and 192h postmortem, respectively. The skeletal stage for carcass II (control) entered at 96h while for carcass I (sack) entered at 144h postmortem. The skeletal stage for carcass III (plastic), however, occurred at more than 220h. Diptera were present at the beginning of fresh stage, while Coleoptera was starting present at the decay stage. Diptera of Musca domestica and Chrysomya albiceps and Coleoptera of Histeridae were the most dominant with varying numbers in each carcass. From this study, it can be concluded that wrapping affected the temperature of carcasses, and subsequently affected the decay process, also the number and the species of the insect presents.