Ants are known to colonize corpses during all stages of decomposition. Since they are also known to predate necrophagous insects, they may affect forensic investigations not only because of possible misinterpretations of skin lesions but also because of removal of dipteran and coleopteran colonizers. We report a case of skin damages on a human corpse found in late spring in a suburban area of Cosenza (Region Calabria, Southern Italy) caused by activity of Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). During external examination on site and autopsy, numerous ants were observed feeding on the body but no other insect species was found. We discuss the appearance of skin lesions, the possible role of T. nigerrimum in interfering with colonization by necrophagous insects and its consequences on forensic investigations.

Severe post mortem damages by ants on a human corpse

Teresa Bonacci
Supervision
;
2019

Abstract

Ants are known to colonize corpses during all stages of decomposition. Since they are also known to predate necrophagous insects, they may affect forensic investigations not only because of possible misinterpretations of skin lesions but also because of removal of dipteran and coleopteran colonizers. We report a case of skin damages on a human corpse found in late spring in a suburban area of Cosenza (Region Calabria, Southern Italy) caused by activity of Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). During external examination on site and autopsy, numerous ants were observed feeding on the body but no other insect species was found. We discuss the appearance of skin lesions, the possible role of T. nigerrimum in interfering with colonization by necrophagous insects and its consequences on forensic investigations.
ants, necrophagous insects, post-mortem skin lesions, Tapinoma nigerrimum
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/298108
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact