Korean J Leg Med.  2013 Nov;37(4):177-182. 10.7580/kjlm.2013.37.4.177.

Molecular Species Identification of Forensically Important Flies in Korea

  • 1Department of Legal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. kuforen@gmail.com


To estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) by using entomological evidence, species identification of forensically important flies is mandatory. However, the traditional species identification method, which relies on the key morphological features of adult flies, is not always available to investigators and has limitations to the immature samples. Because of these limitations, species identification using DNA sequences has long been an issue in the field of forensic entomology. In this review, I have briefly described the basic principles of molecular species identification and phylogenetic analysis and their applications in forensic entomology. I also recommend an experimental and statistical method to identify unknown fly samples obtained from the field.


Forensic science; Entomology; Species specificity; Phylogenetic DNA barcode

MeSH Terms

Base Sequence
DNA Barcoding, Taxonomic
Forensic Sciences
Research Personnel
Species Specificity


  • Fig. 1. An example of a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree, using COI sequences of modern human (Homo sapiens), Neanderthal man (Homo neanderthalensis), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), bonobo (Pan paniscus), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), and orangutan (Pongo abelii), illustrates the key features of a phylogenetic tree such as nodes, branches, bootstrap numbers, and the scale.


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