• Taghred M. Saber Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt;
  • Eman A. A. Hassanen Parasitology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
  • Reham G. A. Anter Parasitology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
  • Mayada R. Farag Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
  • Taisir Saber Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
  • Tamer S. Imam Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt



forensic entomology, decomposition, entomotoxicology, insect succession, atrazine


This study was designed to assess the effect of atrazine, the most commonly used herbicide in Egypt, on the decay process of intoxicated rat carrions and their associated forensically important insects during the summer season. Six Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned into groups. Cervical dislocation was used for killing the 1st group, and served as the control, whereas atrazine intoxication was utilized to kill the 2nd group. Control carcasses decomposed quickly, taking only 19 days to reach the skeletal stage. Decay of atrazine-intoxicated carrions was delayed since they reached the skeletal stage in 30 days. In addition, a delay in the colonization of insect fauna for atrazine-intoxicated carcasses was observed. The predominant necrophagous arthropods involved in the decomposition process were the orders Diptera and Coleoptera. The insect family Calliphoridae was the first to colonize the corpses and persisted until the beginning of the advanced decay stage. The results revealed that atrazine affected the succession pattern of carrion-feeding insects. In the control group, Dipteran insects were the most dominant insects (57.14%), and then Coleopteran insects were the following ones (42.85%). While the atrazine-intoxicated group showed 42.85% for insects of order Diptera and 57.14% for Coleoptera. This work suggested that the atrazine intoxication affected the decomposition process of rat carrions and their related arthropod fauna during the summer season, which could aid in the future forensic investigations of suspected pesticide poisoning.


● 1. Zar MS, Huang M. Correlation of Insects with Forensic Sciences. Trends in Insect Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.Cham: Springer, 2018:317–29.

● 2. Al–Boshabaa SHH, Al–Musawy HR. The Taxonomic composition of the forensically important insects in the rabbit carcasses during two seasons In An–Najaf Province–Iraq. World J Pharm Res 2016;5:2068–77.

● 3. Putman RJ. Carrion and dung: the decomposition of animal wastes, The Institute of Biology’s Studies in Biology No. 156, London: Edward Arnold; 1983.

● 4. Valdes‐Perezgasga MT, Sanchez‐Ramos FJ, Garcia‐Martinez O, et al. Arthropods of forensic importance on pig carrion in the Coahuilan semidesert, Mexico. J Forensic Sci 2010;55:1098–101.

● 5. Ortega‐Hernández J. Making sense of ‘lower’and ‘upper’stem‐group Euarthropoda, with comments on the strict use of the name Arthropoda von Siebold, 1848. Biol Rev 2016;91:255–73.

● 6. Arnaldos M, Garcia M, Romera E, et al . Estimation of postmortem interval in real cases based on experimentally obtained entomological evidence. Forensic Sci Int 2005;149:57–65.

● 7. Horenstein MB, Rosso B, García MD. Seasonal structure and dynamics of sarcosaprophagous fauna on pig carrion in a rural area of Cordoba (Argentina): Their importance in forensic science. Forensic Sci Int 2012; 217:146–56.

● 8. Chophi R, Sharma S, Sharma S, et al. Forensic entomotoxicology: Current concepts, trends and challenges. J Forensic Leg Med 2019;67:28–36.

● 9. Abd El–bar MM, Sawaby RF, El–Hamouly H, et al. preliminary identification of insect successive wave in Egypt on control and zinc phosphide–intoxicated animals in different seasons. Egypt. J Forensic Sci 2016;6:223–34.

● 10. Abd El–Gawad A, Badawy RM, Abd El–Bar MM, et al. Successive waves of dipteran flies attracted to warfarin–intoxicated rabbit carcasses in Cairo, Egypt. JOBAZ 2019;80:56.

● 11. Jales JT, Barbosa TdM, dos Santos LC, et al. Carrion decomposition and assemblage of necrophagous dipterans associated with Terbufos (Organophosphate) intoxicated rat carcasses. Acta Trop 2020; 212:105652.

● 12. Khalil SR, Reda RM, Awad A. Efficacy of Spirulina platensis diet supplements on disease resistance and immune–related gene expression in Cyprinus carpioL. exposed to herbicide atrazine. Fish Shellfish immunol 2017; 67:119–28.

● 13. Toughan H, Khalil SR, El–Ghoneimy AA, et al. Effect of dietary supplementation with Spirulina platensis on Atrazine–induced oxidative stress–mediated hepatic damage and inflammation in the common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2018;149:135–42.

● 14. Aziz RLA, Abdel–Wahab A, El–Ela FIA, et al. Dose–dependent ameliorative effects of quercetin and l–Carnitine against atrazine–induced reproductive toxicity in adult male Albino rats. Biomed Pharmacother 2018;102:855–64.

● 15. Abarikwu SO, Duru QC, Njoku R–CC, et al. Effects of co–exposure to atrazine and ethanol on the oxidative damage of kidney and liver in Wistar rats. Ren Fail 2017;39:588–96.

● 16. Abd El–bar MM, Sawaby RF. A preliminary investigation of insect colonization and succession on remains of rabbits treated with an organophosphate insecticide in El–Qalyubiya Governorate of Egypt. Forensic Sci Int 2011;208:e26–30.

● 17. Farag MR, Anter RGA, Elhady WM, et al. Diversity, succession pattern and colonization of forensic entomofauna on indoor rat carrions concerning the manner of death. Rend Fis Acc Lincei 2021; 32: 521–38.

● 18. Hauswirth JW, Wetzel LT. Toxicity characteristics of the 2–chlorotriazines, atrazine, and simazine. In: Ballentine LG MJ, Hackett DS, editor. Triazine Herbicides Risk Assessment. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society; 1998.

● 19. Kaufmann J. Parasitic infections of domestic animals: a diagnostic manual. ILRI (aka ILCA and ILRAD); 1996 Jan 26.

● 20. John DT, Petri WA. Markell & Voge's Medical Parasitology 9th ed. St. Louis, Saunders Elsevier; 2006.

● 21. Bowman DD. Parasitology for veterinarians. 9th ed. China: Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc.; 2009.

● 22. Abdel Aziz RL, Abdel–Wahab A, Abo El–Ela FI, et al. Dose–dependent ameliorative effects of quercetin and l –Carnitine against atrazine– induced reproductive toxicity in adult male Albino rats. Biomed Pharmacother 2018;102:855–64.

● 23. Campobasso CP, Di Vella G, Introna F. Factors affecting decomposition and Diptera colonization. Forensic Sci Int 2001;120:18–27.

● 24. de Siqueira A, Rodrigues KB, Gonçalves–Júnior V, Calefi AS, Fukushima AR, Cuevas SE, et al. Exhumation of Wistar rats experimentally exposed to the carbamate pesticides aldicarb and carbofuran: A pathological and toxicological study. Exp Toxicol Pathol 2016;68:307–14.

● 25. El–Aziz A, El Shehaby DM. Effect of Arthropods on the decomposition of rat carrions in an aerated environment in spring season in Assiut, Egypt. Egypt Acad J Biol Sci. 2019;11:1–12.

● 26. Keshavarzi D, Zaimy MA, Ahmed Yusuf M, et al. Insect succession on carrion in Fars Province, southwestern Iran. Egypt J Forensic Sci 2019;9: 18.

● 27. Zeariya M, Hammad K, Fouda M, et al. Forensic insect succession and decomposition patterns of dog and rabbit carcasses in different habitats. J Entomol Zool Stud 2015;3:473–82.

● 28. Bharti M, Singh D. Insect faunal succession on decaying rabbit carcasses in Punjab, India. J Forensic Sci 2003;48:1133–43.

● 29. Sharanowski BJ, Walker EG, Anderson GS. Insect succession and decomposition patterns on shaded and sunlit carrion in Saskatchewan in three different seasons. Forensic Sci Int 2008;179:219–40.

● 30. Azmi WA, Lim SP. Comparative study of Dipteran species diversity and their succession on rabbit carrion in two different Mangrove areas of Peninsular Malaysia. J Insects. 2013;2013:398159.

● 31. Okiwelu SN, Ikpamii T, Umeozor OC. Arthropods associated with mammalian carcasses in Rivers State, Nigeria. Afr J Biomed Res 2008;11:339–42.

● 32. El–Kady EM, Essa YEE, Shalaby OA. Variations in the blow and flesh flies succession on rabbit carrions killed by different methods. J Egypt Ger Soc Zool 1994;13:451–89.

● 33. Sandoval RCS, Medeiros LRA. Influence of insecticide on insect fauna of forensic importance in rat carcasses ( Rattus norvegicus) exposed in a suburban area near Atlantic rainforest fragments of southeastern Brazil. Rev Bras Zoociências 2013;15:165–70.

● 34. Lee Goff M. Early post–mortem changes and stages of decomposition in exposed cadavers. Exp Appl Acarol 2009;49:21–36.

● 35. Mohamed Aly S, Wen J, Wang X, et al. Identification of forensically important arthropods on exposed remains during summer season in northeastern Egypt. Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban 2013; 38:1–6.

● 36. Abouzied EM. Insect colonization and succession on rabbit carcasses in Southwestern Mountains of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. J med entomol2014; 51:1168–74.

● 37. Tomberlin JK, Adler PH. Seasonal colonization and decomposition of rat carrion in water and on land in an open field in South Carolina. J Med Entomol 1998;35:704–9.

● 38. Aly M, Osman KM, Galal FH, et al. Comparitive study on outdoor and indoor forensic insects encountered on rabbit corpses in Upper Egypt. IOSR J Pharm Biol Sci 2017;12:41–54.

● 39. Wang J, Li Z, Chen Y, et al. The succession and development of insects on pig carcasses and their significances in estimating PMI in south China. Forensic Sci Int 2008;179:11–8.

● 40. Kyerematen RA, Boateng BA, Haruna M, et al. Decomposition and insect succession pattern of exposed domestic pig (Sus scrofa L.) carrion. ARPN J Agric Biol Sci2013;8:756–65.

● 41. Erzinclioglu Y. Blowflies. Naturalist Handbook: The Richmond Publishing Co. Ltd, 1996: 33–44.

● 42. Ekanem MS, Dike MC. Arthropod succession on pig carcasses in southeastern Nigeria. Pap Avulsos Zool 2010; 50:561–70

● 43. Oliveira–Costa J, Lamego CM, Couri MS, et al. Differential Diptera succession patterns onto partially burned and unburned pig carrion in southeastern Brazil. Braz J biol 2014;74:870–6.

● 44. Al–Mesbah H, Moffatt C, El–Azazy OME, et al. The decomposition of rabbit carcasses and associated necrophagous Diptera in Kuwait. Forensic Sci Int 2012;217:27–31.

● 45. Niederegger S, Spiess R. Cuticular muscle attachment sites as a tool for species determination in blowfly larvae. Parasitol Res 2012;110:1903–9.

● 46. Watson EJ, Carlton CE. Spring succession of necrophilous insects on wildlife carcasses in Louisiana. J med entomol 2003;40:338–47.

● 47. Vasconcelos SD, Cruz TM, Salgado RL, et al. Dipterans associated with a decomposing animal carcass in a rainforest fragment in Brazil: notes on the early arrival and colonization by necrophagous species. J insect sci 2013;13:145.

● 48. Grisales D, Lecheta MC, Aballay F, et al. editors. A key and checklist to the Neotropical forensically important "Little House Flies" (Diptera: Fanniidae). Zoologia (Curitiba). 2016; 33.

● 49. Martín–Vega D. Skipping clues: Forensic importance of the family Piophilidae (Diptera). Forensic Sci Int 2011; 212:1–5.

● 50. Martinez E, Duque P, Wolff M. Succession pattern of carrion–feeding insects in Paramo, Colombia. Forensic Sci Int 2007;166:182–9.

● 51. Kočárek P. Decomposition and Coleoptera succession on exposed carrion of small mammal in Opava, the Czech Republic. Eur J Soil Biol 2003; 39:31–45.

● 52. Schroeder H, Klotzbach H, Oesterhelweg L, et al. Larder beetles (Coleoptera, Dermestidae) as an accelerating factor for decomposition of a human corpse. Forensic Sci Int 2002;127:231–6.

● 53. Yan–Wei S, Xiao–Shan L, Hai–Yang W, et al. Effects of malathion on the insect succession and the development of Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in the field and implications for estimating postmortem interval. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2010;31:46–51.

● 54. Musyaffa MF, Soviana S, Retnani EB. The Dynamic of insect population succession in bird poisoned by pyrethroid insecticides. Acta Vet Indones 2021:102–8.




How to Cite




Original Research Article