Forensic Acarology

  • Ayla TÜZÜN
  • Havva Gül MURAT
  • Gözde BİLGİLİ
Keywords: Forensic acarology, Forensic Sciences, Post Mortem Interval


With the onset of decomposition following death, various species of insects begin to appear on a person’s corpse in a particular order.
By identifying the characteristics of these insects, it is possible to reach important information that might contribute to an ongoing forensic
investigation, such as a person’s post-mortem interval (PMI). In the evaluation of forensic cases, mites (acari) represent a form of evidence
that is as important as insects. Especially in cases where conditions such as the environment the corpse is found and the manner of death are
not suitable for the presence/arrival of insects, mite populations on corpses can become an importance evidence for elucidating these cases.
Different species of flies carry specific mite species to corpses, while certain mite species normally found on the human body before death
remain viable for specific periods of time. Such information can significantly contribute to resolving forensic cases. Mites can be found in a
wide range of environments, including freshwater and saltwater environments, houses, clothes, beds, and the human skin. The diversity of
mite species varies considerably between different seasons and regions, between different areas of the same region, and between different
natural habitats. Mites found on beds are different than those found on linens, just as mites found on human skin are different than those
found on human clothing. Owing to their ubiquity, diversity and wide distribution, mite species can be used as valid and reliable pieces of
evidence for resolving forensic cases.