This report describes a project that developed computer modeling of insect growth for the purpose of improving accuracy in estimating time of death in the field of forensic entomology.
The use and application of computer modeling in forensic entomology is largely unexplored. This is because many widely used entomological computer models do not provide acceptable results for predicting development times of insect field populations under variable temperature. The purpose of the current study was to determine the mean and standard deviation of the development of immature life stages, compare the development of immature insects under constant and cyclic temperature regimes, and compare the various development model theories with the baseline data to determine the optimum model format. The researchers advocate the development of advanced computer models that compensate for adult activity periods, ambient temperature fluctuations, interspecies competition, and the excess metabolic heat generated by actively feeding second and third instar larvae. In discussing computer modeling theory, this report profiles linear development rate models and nonlinear development rate models. Also described are the creation of a computer model, followed by discussions of the importance of computer modeling, the practical applications of a computer model, and further studies in computer modeling. 22 references and extensive figures