Postmortem Evaluation of Rabbit Carcasses Using Insect Populations in Keffi Nasarawa State, Nigeria


  •   H. O. Akpa

  •   J. D. C. Tongjura

  •   G. A. Amuga

  •   R. J. Ombugadu


Untimely, forceful, and unexpected death is inevitable and common worldwide. Evidence for causes of death may be obtained through the knowledge of insects’ successional pattern and postmortem interval on dead carcasses. Two rabbits (Lepus cuniculus) weighing 2.5 kg each were used as the experimental animals. The rabbits were sacrificed by poisoning and stabbing, postmortem evaluation was achieved by taking record of the insect’s successional pattern. The insects’ successional pattern revealed the following insects’ species in order in which they arrived on the carcasses: Musca domestica, Lucilia sericata, Chrysomya albiceps, Dermestes maculatus, and Armadillidium vulgare (usual sp). The family Formicidae were represented by two unidentified species. M. domestica arrived first on the stabbed carcass while L. sericata on poisoned carcass. A total of 105±50 insects were collected throughout the study period, with stabbed rabbit contributing 61±10 and poisoned 44±60 insects’ species. Variation in the number of forensically important insects’ species encountered in the study site did not show any significant difference (p>0.05) in relation to each decomposition stage. There was however a significant difference (p<0.05) between insects’ relative abundance and mode of killing. Insect evidence was found 3 minutes after death on the stabbed carcass and 3 days after on the poisoned carcass. The study has shown that insects' population can be used to establish postmortem evidence in rabbit carcasses.

Keywords: carcass, insects, poison, postmortem, succession, stab


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How to Cite
Akpa, H. O., Tongjura, J. D. C., Amuga, G. A., & Ombugadu, R. J. (2021). Postmortem Evaluation of Rabbit Carcasses Using Insect Populations in Keffi Nasarawa State, Nigeria. European Journal of Biology and Biotechnology, 2(6), 6-9.