Southern African Forensic Entomology Research Laboratory

The Southern African Forensic Entomology Research Laboratory welcomes biologists with a strong interest in performing research in the following areas:

  • Urban forensic entomology
  • Stored-product forensic entomology
  • Medico-legal forensic entomology
  • Environmental forensic entomotoxicology

The intention of this research is to provide evidence that will contribute to the resolution of civil and criminal legal cases in southern Africa, especially where it will promote crime prevention.

Staff

Ongoing projects

  • Identification of insects 
  • Developmental biology of insects
  • Spatial and temporal distribution of insects
  • Entomotoxicology

 

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  1. Villet MH. 2017. Forensic significance of Diptera. In: Kirk-Spriggs, A.H. & Sinclair, B.J., eds, Manual of Afrotropical Diptera. Volume 1. Introductory chapters and keys to Diptera families. Suricata 4. Pretoria: SANBI Graphics & Editing, 175–193 pp. http://afrotropicalmanual.org/pdfs/2017_Suricata4_Spriggs_Sinclair.pdf
  2. Amendt J, Campobasso CP, Dadour IR, Gaudry E, Hall MJR, Villet MH, Moretti TC, Anderson GS, Sukontason KL. 2015. Standard practices. Pp. 381-398 in: Tomberlin JK, Benbow ME, eds. International Dimensions and Frontiers in Forensic Entomology. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis. DOI: 10.1201/b18156-35
  3. Villet MH. 2015. History, accomplishments, and challenges of forensic entomology in Africa. Pp. 161-171 in: Tomberlin JK, Benbow ME, eds. International Dimensions and Frontiers in Forensic Entomology. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis. DOI: 10.1201/b18156-20
  4. Whittington-Jones K, Tandlich R, Zuma B, Hoossein S, Villet MH, 2011. Performance of the pilot-scale mulch tower system in treatment of greywater from a low-cost housing development in the Buffalo City, South Africa. In: 15th International Water Technology Conference, IWTC 15 2010. Alexandria, Egypt.
  5. Villet, M.H. and Amendt, J. (2011) Advances in entomological methods for estimating time of death. Forensic Pathology Reviews 6: 213-238. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-61779-249-6_11
  6. Midgley, J.M., Richards, C.S. and Villet, M.H. (2010) The utility of Coleoptera in forensic investigations. Pp 57-68 in: Amendt, J., Goff, M.L., Campobasso, C.P. and Grassberger, M. (Eds) Current Concepts in Forensic Entomology. Springer, Heidelberg. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781402096839
  7. Villet, M.H., Richards, C.S. and Midgley, J.M. (2010) Limitations to the precision and accuracy of estimates of minimum post-mortem intervals using development of carrion-feeding insects. Pp 109-137 in: Amendt, J., Goff, M.L., Campobasso, C.P. and Grassberger, M. (Eds) Current Concepts in Forensic Entomology. Springer, Heidelberg. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781402096839

 

Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Daniel CA, Midgley JM, Villet MH. 2017. Identification of larvae of the Afrotropical species of Thanatophilus Leach, 1817 (Coleoptera, Silphidae). African Invertebrates 58: 1-10. DOI: 10.3897/afrinvertebr.58.12966 Corrigenda: https://doi.org/10.3897/AfrInvertebr.58.20751
  2. da Silva E, Wilhelmi B, Villet MH. 2017. Forensic entomotoxicology revisited - towards professional standardization of study designs. International Journal of Legal Medicine. 131: 1399-1412. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-017-1603-9
  3. Lutz L, Williams KA, Villet MH, Ekanem M, Szpila K. 2017. Species identification of African blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of forensic importance. International Journal of Legal Medicine 132: 831–842. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-017-1654-y
  4. Villet MH, Clitheroe C-L, Williams KA. 2017. Forensic implications of the temporal occurrence of flesh flies (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) at carrion-baited traps in Grahamstown, South Africa. African Invertebrates 58: 1-8. DOI: 10.3897/AfrInvertebr.58.9537.
  5. Williams KA, Wallman JF, Lessard BD, Kavazos CRJ, Mazungula DN, Villet MH. 2017. Nocturnal oviposition behavior of carrion flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae) in the southern hemisphere (South Africa and Australia) and its forensic implications. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. 13: 123-134. DOI: 10.1007/s12024-017-9861-x
  6. Brits D, Brooks M, Villet MH. 2016. Diversity of bacteria isolated from the flies Musca domestica (Muscidae) and Chrysomya megacephala (Calliphoridae) with emphasis on vectored pathogens. African Entomology 24(2): 365–375. DOI: 10.4001/003.024.0000
  7. Kotzé Z, Villet MH, Wheldon CW. 2016. Heat accumulation and development rate of massed maggots of the sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Journal of Insect Physiology 95: 98-104. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2016.09.009
  8. Strümpher WP, Sole CL, Villet MH & Scholtz CH. 2016. Allopatric speciation in the flightless Phoberus capensis (Coleoptera: Trogidae) group, with description of two new species. Insect Systematics & Evolution 47: 149-179. DOI: 10.1163/1876312X-47022138
  9. Strümpher WP, Villet MH, Sole CL, Scholtz CH. 2016. Overview and revision of the extant genera and subgenera of Trogidae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea). Insect Systematics & Evolution 47: 53 – 82. DOI: 10.1163/1876312X-46052133.
  10. Williams KA, Villet MH, Lamb J. 2016. Phylogenetic radiation of the greenbottle flies (Diptera, Calliphoridae, Luciliinae). ZooKeys 568: 59-86. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.568.6696
  11. Kotzé Z, Villet MH, Weldon CW. 2015. Effect of temperature on development of the blowfly, Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). International Journal of Legal Medicine 129: 1155-1162. DOI 10.1007/s00414-015-1153-y
  12. Kuria SK, Kingu HJC, Villet MH, Dhaffala A. 2015. Human myiasis in rural South Africa is under-reported. South African Medical Journal 105: 129-133. DOI: 10.7196/SAMJ.8118.
  13. Ridgeway JA, Midgley JM, Collett IJ, Villet MH. 2014. Advantages of using development models of the carrion beetles Thanatophilus micans (Fabricius) and T. mutilatus (Castelnau) (Coleoptera: Silphidae) for estimating minimum post mortem intervals, verified with case data. International Journal of Legal Medicine 128: 207–220. DOI 10.1007/s00414-013-0865-0
  14. Strümpher WP, Sole CL, Villet MH, Scholtz, CH. 2014. Phylogeny of the family Trogidae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence data. Systematic Entomology (2014), 39, 548–562 DOI: 10.1111/syen.12074
  15. Williams KA, Villet MH. 2014. Effects of hydrocortisone and sodium methohexital on growth rate of Chrysomya chloropyga weidemann (Diptera: Calliphoridae): developmental and behavioural indications of presence of drugs. Durban Natural Science Museum Novitates 37: 25-29
  16. Williams KA, Villet MH. 2014. Morphological identification of Lucilia sericata, Lucilia cuprina and their hybrids (Diptera, Calliphoridae). ZooKeys 420: 69-85. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.420.7645
  17. Williams KA, Richards CS, Villet MH. 2014. Predicting the geographic distribution of Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in South Africa.African Invertebrates 55: 157–170. http://africaninvertebrates.org/ojs/index.php/AI/article/view/348
  18. Williams KA, Villet MH, 2013. Ancient and modern hybridization between Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). European Journal of Entomology 110: 187-196. http://www.eje.cz/pdfs/eje/2013/02/02.pdf
  19. Kingu HJC, Kuria SK, Villet MH, Mkhize JN, Dhaffala A, Iisa JM, 2012. Cutaneous myiasis: is Lucilia cuprina safe and acceptable for maggot debridement therapy? Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Application 2: 79-82.
  20. Marinho MAT, Junqueira ACM, Paulo DF, Esposito MC, Villet MH, Azeredo-Espin AML, 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of Oestroidea (Diptera: Calyptratae) with emphasis on Calliphoridae: insights into the inter-familial relationships and additional evidence for paraphyly among blowflies. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65: 840-854. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790312003168
  21. Midgley JM, Collett IJ, Villet MH, 2012. The distribution, habitat, diet and forensic significance of the scarab Frankenbergerius forcipatus (Harold, 1881) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). African Invertebrates 53: 745-749. http://africaninvertebrates.org/ojs/index.php/AI/article/viewFile/16/17
  22. Picard CJ, Villet MH, Wells JD, 2012. Amplified fragment length polymorphism confirms reciprocal monophyly in Chrysomya putoria and Chrysomya chloropyga: a correction of reported shared mtDNA haplotypes. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 26: 116-119. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2011.00976.x
  23. Szpila, K. Villet, M. H. 2011. Morphology and identification of first instar larvae of African blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) commonly of forensic importance. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 48: 738-752. DOI: 10.1603/ME10238
  24. Villet, M.H. 2011. African carrion ecosystems and their insect communities in relation to forensic entomology. Pest Technology 5: 1-15. http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/Online/GSBOnline/images/2011/PT_5(1)/PT_5(1)1-15o.pdf
  25. Tantawi T.I., Williams K.A. & Villet M.H., 2010. An accidental but safe and effective use of Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in maggot debridement therapy in Alexandria, Egypt. Journal of Medical Entomology 47: 491-494. DOI: 10.1603/ME09183
  26. Midgley, J.M. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Effect of the killing method on post-mortem change in length of larvae of Thanatophilus micans (Fabricius, 1794) (Coleoptera: Silphidae) stored in 70% ethanol. International Journal of Legal Medicine 123: 103-108. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-008-0260-4
  27. Midgley, J.M. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Development of Thanatophilus micans (Fabricius 1794) (Coleoptera: Silphidae) at constant temperatures.International Journal of Legal Medicine DOI: 10.1007/s00414-008-0280-0 123: 285-292
  28. Richards, C.S., Crous, K.L. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Models of development for the blow fly sister species Chrysomya chloropyga and C. putoria (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Medical and Veterinary Entomology 23: 56-61. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2008.00767.x
  29. Richards, C.S., Price, B.W. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Thermal ecophysiology of seven carrion-feeding blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Southern Africa. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 131: 11-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2009.00824.x
  30. Richards, C.S. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Data quality in thermal summation models of development of forensically important blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae): a case study. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 23: 269-276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2915.2009.00819.x
  31. Richards, C.S., Williams, K.A. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Predicting geographic distribution of seven blowfly species (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in South Africa. African Entomology 17: 170-182. http://dx.doi.org/10.4001/003.017.0207
  32. Tourle, R.A., Downie, D.A. & Villet, M.H. 2009. Flies in the ointment: a morphological and molecular comparison of Lucilia cuprina and L. sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in South Africa. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 23: 6-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2915.2008.00765
  33. Harvey, M.L., Gaudieri, S., Villet, M.H. & Dadour I.R. 2008. A global study of forensically significant calliphorids: implications for identification. Forensic Science International 177: 66-76 http: //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.10.009
  34. Midgley, J.M. & Villet, M.H. 2008a. Effect of the killing method on post-mortem change in length of larvae of Thanatophilus micans (Fabricius, 1794) (Coleoptera: Silphidae) stored in 70% ethanol. International Journal of Legal Medicine 123: 103-108. http: //dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-008-0260-4
  35. Midgley, J.M. & Villet, M.H. 2008b. Development of Thanatophilus micans (Fabricius 1794) (Coleoptera: Silphidae) at constant temperatures. International Journal of Legal Medicine 123: 285-292. http: //dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-008-0280-0
  36. Richards, C.S. & Villet, M.H. 2008. Factors affecting accuracy and precision of thermal summation models of insect development used to estimate postmortem intervals. International Journal of Legal Medicine. http: //dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-008-0243-5
  37. Richards, C.S., Paterson, I.D. & Villet, M.H. 2008. Estimating the age of immature Chrysomya albiceps (Diptera: Calliphoridae), correcting for temperature and geographical latitude. International Journal of Legal Medicine 122: 271-279. http: //dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-007-0201-7
  38. Williams, K.A., Cronje, F.J., Avenant, L. & Villet, M.H. 2008. Identifying flies used for maggot debridement therapy. South African Medical Journal 98: 196-197
  39. Villet MH (2007) An inexpensive geometrical micrometer for measuring small, live insects quickly without harming them. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 122: 279-280 http: //dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00520.x
  40. da Silva C, Villet MH (2006) Effects of prophylactic progesterone in decomposing tissues on the development of Chrysomya chloropyga (Wiedeman) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). African Entomology 14: 199-202
  41. Villet MH, MacKenzie B, Muller WJ (2006) Larval development of the carrion-breeding flesh fly Sarcophaga (Liosarcophaga) tibialis Macquart (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) at constant temperatures. African Entomology 14: 357-366
  42. Williams KA, Villet MH (2006) A new and earlier record of Chrysomya megacephala in South Africa, with notes on another exotic species, Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). African Invertebrates 47: 347-350
  43. Williams KA, Villet MH (2006) A history of southern African research relevant to forensic entomology. South African Journal of Science 102: 59-65

 

Last Modified: Thu, 01 Nov 2018 19:49:26 SAST