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Skeleton Acres or Mummy Acres?

Our forensics laboratory was nearly a bust in terms of forensics data.  Carrion-baited traps were set on Skeleton Acres in Butler county, and had been in place for about 16 hours (quite enough time for carrion insects to be attracted).  Temperatures have been well over 100 degrees F for several days, and I suspected that this might suppress carrion beetle activity... but not fly activity.  I was quite amazed that even the fly activity was suppressed!  Other factors may have played a role, but we would have to investigate these (was the ethylene glycol a deterrent?  was the carrion not "aged" long enough? were Pet-Co purchased "baits" killed in such a manner that insects were not attracted?).  In my work with the American Burying Beetle, I have used all kinds of bait to attract carrion insects (rhinoceros meat, chicken gizzards, road-kill snakes, just to name a few), including "feeder" mice.  Ethylene glycol is typically used as a preservative because it has been demonstrated to neither attract nor deter insects.  My guess?  The extreme temperatures and drought suppressed activity.  If so, Skeleton Acres would turn into Mummy Acres!

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