This article describes the homicide pattern in Penang Island, Malaysia over a three-year period (2007-2009). 65 homicide autopsies were performed at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Penang Hospital over the study period. The homicide rates ranged from 0.01 to 0.09/1000 population, the highest being in the Indian ethnic group. The majority (37%) of victims were in the 20-39 years age group. The male: female ratio was 3:1. The majority of deaths were caused by blunt instruments (46%), followed by stab/slash wounds (25%) and asphyxiation (12%). 63% of homicides occurred in areas served by the police stations at Jalan Patani (23.1%), Sg. Nibong (16.9%), Central (12.3%) and Bayan Lepas (10.9%). 56 (86%) victims were brought in dead to the hospital, while 9 (14%) died after admission. Most (39%) incidences occurred in the morning. The methods of homicide were different from Kuala Lumpur, another highly urbanised area of Malaysia.
This article describes the completed suicide patterns which occurred in the Timur Laut district of Penang Island, Malaysia. In a prospective cohort study over the three years period (2007-2009) there were 138 cases of suicide deaths. The number of suicide deaths for the year 2007, 2008 and 2009 were 45, 41 and 52 deaths, respectively. Majority of the suicide deaths were by jumping from height (47.1%), followed by hanging (34.1%) and by drowning (10.9%). The male victims outnumbered females in a 3 : 1 ratio.
The pupae of Desmometopa sp. (Diptera: Milichiidae) were collected from a human corpse found indoor in active decay stage together with the larvae of Sarcophagidae, Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) and Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart). This research note is the first report of the Desmometopa sp. recovered from a human corpse in Malaysia.
Larvae of the Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp) were collected from a decomposed human corpse at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Penang Hospital. A colony of this species was established and the eggs were collected for rearing. The developmental times, rearing temperatures, and relative humidity were recorded twice daily from the time the eggs collected until adult emergence. An average of 5 larvae were randomly collected from the rearings twice daily, warm-water killed and preserved in Kahle's solution. The larval instar stages were determined by observing the number of posterior spiracular slits and the length of the preserved larvae were measured. When the larval life cycle was completed, the accumulated developmental times were calculated. A total of 8 replicates were carried out. The temperature of the rearing room was 28.5+/-1.5 degrees Celcius while the relative humidity was within 67-85%. The total developmental time for S. nudiseta was 322+/-19 hours (13.4+/-0.8 days).
A human corpse at an advanced stage of decomposition was found in a house in the residential area of Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia. Entomological specimens were collected during the post-mortem and the live specimens were subsequently reared at room temperature. The time of death was estimated to have been 14 days previous to the discovery of the body based on the police investigation. Both adult and larvae of the beetle Dermestes ater (De Geer) were found to be infesting the corpse and from the stage of decomposition of the body and the estimated time of death it would appear that infestation may have begun at a relatively early stage of decomposition.
Mating behavior between Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, established colony strains were examined under laboratory conditions (30-cm(3) screened cages) for 5 consecutive days. The effect of selected male densities (30, 20, 10) and female density (20) on the number of swarming, mating pairs, eggs produced, and inseminated females were evaluated. Male densities significantly increased swarming behavior, mating pairs, and egg production of heterospecific females, but female insemination was reduced. Aedes aegypti males mate more readily with heterospecific females than do Ae. albopictus males. The current study suggests that Ae. aegypti males were not species-specific in mating, and if released into the field as practiced in genetically modified mosquito techniques, they may mate with both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus females, hence reducing populations of both species by producing infertile eggs.
The larval growth of Liosarcophaga dux Thompson (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) was studied under varying indoor room temperatures in Malaysia. Five replicates were established. The immature growth of this species from first instar until adult emergence was 307.0+/-3.0 hours. The mean larval length measured for second instar, third instar, post-feeding stage and puparia were 6.5+/-0.5 mm (n=10), 11.8+/-3.7 mm (n=31), 12.7+/-0.8 mm (n=16), and 9.5+/-0.5 mm (n=15), respectively.
A burned human remain was found outdoor (5º 27' N, 100º 16' E) in Penang Island. The deceased was last seen alive on 23 April 2010 at 2230 h and was found burned on 24 April 2010 at 1920 h. Larval aggregation of second instar Chrysomya megacephala was observed on the chest of the deceased.
The life history of the male and female of the indoor forensic fly, Synthesiomyia nudiseta was studied under fluctuating temperature of indoor environments and analysed based on the age-stage and two sex life table. The life cycle of S. nudiseta was 14.0±1.0 days from the egg stage to adult emergence. The population parameters calculated were; net reproduction rate (R(o)= 108.6), mean generation time (T(o)= 12.2), intrinsic rate of increase (r(m)= 0.38), and finite rate of increase (λ= 1.46). The pre-oviposition period (APOP) was 6.0± 0.1 days. All population parameters suggested that S. nudiseta exhibits the r-strategist characteristics.
Flies attracted to human remains during death investigations were surveyed in north Peninsular Malaysia. Six families, eight genera, and 16 species were identified from human remains, with the greatest fly diversity occurring on remains recovered indoors. The total relative frequency of species was led by Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794) (46%), followed by Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart, 1842) (22%), Sarcophaga (Liopygia) ruficornis (Fabricius, 1974) (5%), Sarcophaga spp. (4%), Synthesiomyia nudiseta Wulp, 1883 (6%), Megaselia spp. (3%), Megaselia scalaris (Loew, 1866), (2%), Megaselia spiracularis Schmitz, 1938 (2%), and Chrysomya villeneuvi Patton, 1922 (2%). Hemipyrellia tagaliana (Bigot, 1877), Desmometopa sp., Megaselia curtineura (Brues, 1909), Hemipyrellia ligurriens Wiedemann 1830, Ophyra sp., Sarcophaga princeps Wiedemann 1830, Piophila casei (Linnaeus, 1758), and unidentified pupae each represented 1%, respectively.