Date of release: Friday, October 30, 2015

Forensic beetlesFlesh-eating creepy crawlies have been found lurking in the labs at the University of Greenwich at Medway – and they are not part of a student Hallowe'en prank.

The 300-strong colony of beasties – or Dermestid beetles, to be precise – is the latest addition to the resources of the Forensic Science degree programme, based within the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science.

The beetles will strip the flesh from animal bones used by students in their final-year research projects. The colony, expected to grow to more than 10,000 when they start breeding, is currently being looked after by forensic technician Charlie Pilbeam.

Linda Brownlow, Programme Leader for Forensic Science at Greenwich, says: "Although the bones we use come from less macabre sources, these beetles have a real part to play in the natural decomposition of dead bodies. They will make a contribution to both our research and teaching."

For more information on studying Forensic Science at the University of Greenwich: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/ug/sci or call 020 8331 9000.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: A flesh-stripping Dermestid beetle.