Abstract # 6299 Poster # 190:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DERMESTID BEETLE (DERMESTES SP.) COLONY FOR COMPARATIVE PRIMATE ANATOMY AND FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY

S. Howell1,2, P. Thomas1,3, J. Barnabei1, H. Walsh-Haney3 and J. Wagner1
1Mannheimer Foundation, Inc., Haman Ranch, LaBelle, FL 33935, USA, 2Florida Gulf Coast University, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 3Florida Gulf Coast University, Department of Justice Studies
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     Nonhuman primates have long been used in research due to their similarities to human physical, behavioral, and genetic traits. The purpose of this project was to develop a nonhuman primate skeletal collection for comparative research. The project focused on technique refinement and development of an appropriate microenvironment for dermestid beetles. Detailed data were collected on all aspects of project advancement. Multiple resources were needed to procure reproductively active beetles. A specialized room was constructed to regulate temperature and humidity important for larvae maturation and reproduction. A period of at least six (6) months was required to develop a sustainable colony of approximately 10,000 healthy larvae and adults. Our research indicates that this is the minimum number required to completely render a 2 to 15 kg nonhuman primate skeleton. Additional steps were required prior to and following rendering including: evisceration, primary defleshing, cleaning and degreasing, sanitizing and whitening and each bone labeled with the corresponding animal identification number. The current goal is to increase the collection in both number and species variety and provide other researchers with this important resource. While the colony was challenging to initiate, it is and will be a valuable comparative tool for scientific study.