The Mystery of Lyle and Louise: Nature’s Witness Forensic Entomology
Insects Can Tell the Story!The bodies discovered in the cabin crime scene (read story) were unrecognizably decomposing and had large maggot masses on them. Students will learn how forensic entomologists use maggots to determine the post mortem interval (PMI). Students will then examine exemplars of the life stages of two fly species and develop their own personal key for distinguishing between life stage and species.
• Grade Level 10-College• Reuseable Materials
Afterwards, students will use their key to identify a number of insects that were collected from the corpses. They will then record that information for the entire class to use. Finally, by comparing the identification data to a life stage/species development chart and using National Weather Service data, students will determine the post mortem interval for both decedents.
This is also a permanent kit, in that as long as specimens are not damaged, they can be reused from class to class.
Supplies are included for up to 30 students working in six groups. As in all Lyle and Louise modules, this kit is geared to high school and undergraduate courses, and is matched to National Science Education Standards.
Ordering information: Activity contents include 6 life stages of Species A (Lucilia sericata), 6 life stages of Species B (Bercaea haemorrhoidalis), 6 evidence collections, and web access to fully illustrated teacher’s manual with technique background.