Flyday: Greenbottle fly

This Flyday, it’s all about the greenbottle flies (Lucilia sp.)! Yes, these flies have a funny common name 🙂 And they are very common. I am almost certain that this fly is the most common fly in my garden. I always see them chilling in the sunny parts of the garden. And who can blame them? It certainly is one of my favorite things to do as well!

 

Flies of the Lucilia genus look so much a like that it is really hard to tell which species the flies I photographed belong to. However, they all belong to the same family as the Common flesh fly (the first fly to feature in this blog series), namely the blowflies (bromvliegen in Dutch). And like the Common flesh fly, the greenbottle flies lay their eggs in meat. Unlike the Common flesh fly, the larvae actually eat decomposing parts of meat tissue. And this behaviour is used by humans for two things:

  1. Maggot therapy. Larvae are put on wounds and will eat the dead parts, while leaving the living tissue.
  2. Forensics. If there is a cadaver, these flies will be one of the first species to know about it. Because their life cycles are relatively fast and well documented, a forensic entomologist can determine the time of death based on which stage the insects are in.

These flies have been used in research a lot, so there is plenty of information available, but for now, I will leave it at this.

Be sure to come back next week to meet another fly!

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