The Morphology of Fecal and Regurgitation Artifacts Deposited by the Blow Fly Lucilia cuprina Fed a Diet of Human Blood Academic Article uri icon


  • Fly feces and regurgitation deposits may be mistaken for bloodstain patterns at a crime scene, potentially compromising event reconstruction and/or misdirecting police resources. In some instances, these artifacts contain sufficient human biological material to generate a full DNA profile, sometimes 2 years after deposition. Clearly, it is important that investigators can make the distinction between artifacts and bloodstains. This study examined 6645 artifacts deposited on a smooth, nonporous surface after Lucilia cuprina were fed human blood. Artifacts were also compared with bloodstains on a variety of other surfaces. Both similarities and differences were found between artifacts and bloodstains, highlighting the need for an identification system to assist personnel with little training in bloodstain pattern analysis. The morphology of the artifacts has been described so that these deposits may be more clearly distinguished from bloodstains, targeted by crime scene personnel as potential sources of human DNA, and/or identified as potential evidence contaminants. Flowcharts have been devised to facilitate the analysis.

publication date

  • 2013