Role of Ants as an Eusocial Insect in Forensic Entomology: A Review

David Debjit Ambett *

Department of Life Sciences, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka-560029, India.

Majesh Tomson

Department of Life Sciences, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka-560029, India.

Amit Chauhan

Department of Life Sciences, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka-560029, India.

Fr. Jobi Xavier

Department of Life Sciences, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, Karnataka-560029, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Ants are eusocial insects responsible for decomposition of dead bodies. These are present in various stages of decomposition and have conquered the second position. These insects often disrupt the post-mortem interval of the dead body. Solenopsis invicta an invasive ant species show invasive activities and does not allow flies to colonise the carrion. They leave lesions on the skin and produce orange-pink to yellow in color marks. Ants have the ability to feed maximum of the cadaver and can speed up the decomposition rate. Ants like Solenopsis invicta reduces the rate of decomposition by not allowing other flies to feed on the carcass. The red imported fire ant results a painful sting and give rise to a pustule in the dead body. Sometimes ants are endemic to a particular area/region and that helps the Post Mortem investigation by stating whether the cadaver was dragged to a different place after the murder or not. Some ants are found only during a particular season like T. nigerrimum and they can be used by the investigators for the time of death. Several studies have been done in different parts of the world like Maranhao, Brazil, Australia with a gap interval of two months. Among the several studies made Camponotus rufipes which is distributed widely have been found to be of medico-legal importance in forensic studies. Ants usually protect the cadaver from the blowflies by covering the open wounded portion of the cadaver with soil. Camponotus sp. Destroy the eggs of H. segmentaria fly. Therefore, ants are not only considered a biological indicator but also as a forensic indicator.

Keywords: Ants, forensic entomology, cadaver, post mortem interval, decomposition


How to Cite

Ambett , D. D., Tomson , M., Chauhan , A., & Xavier , F. J. (2023). Role of Ants as an Eusocial Insect in Forensic Entomology: A Review. UTTAR PRADESH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 44(9), 77–83. https://doi.org/10.56557/upjoz/2023/v44i93494

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