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Dermestes maculatus is a species of beetle found upon carrion. Males of this species are attracted by benzyl butyrate, an organic compound released as a scent of decomposition. Females of this species are not attracted by benzyl butyrate, however their larva are key components in the decomposition process as they feed upon dry remains until the skeletonaztion process is complete. This research analysis reviews different published studies on the species and draws conclusion about how this beetle can be implemented as a method to determine PMI. Post mortem interval (PMI) is the time since death. It is commonly an estimation, which can be used in forensics analyses in crime. For this reason, it is important for the PMI to be as accurate as possible. There are definite stages in human decomposition; fresh, bloated, post-bloating, advanced decay and dry remains. By knowing in what stage the beetles arrive on a body and how mates are attracted both presence of the adults and larvae can potentially be used to determine PMI. The attraction mechanisms in which females arrive to a body is a combination between both the odor profile as well as the pheromones emitted by the males. This is a unique mechanism in such that females attracting males via pheromones is more commonly found. Males and females come at different stages of the decomposition process. Factors such as environment and temperature can pose problems to accurate PMI estimation using D. maculatus as survivorship and developmental time for the larvae is affected.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3203

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022