Holarctic Blue Blow Fly

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by Mintz
Last updated 7 years ago


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Holarctic Blue  Blow Fly

Calliphora vomitoria

first to colonize corpse

Holarctic Blue Blow Fly

most common from Virginia to California and north to Alaska; Canada as well

1st, 2nd, and 3rd instar larvae present on a body are considered to be feeding stages. Entomologists can use past weather data to estimate the ages of larvae and even pupae discovered on a corpse.

Evidence of drug use can be found in blowflies feeding upon cadavers with post-mortem drugs in their systems. Studies have shown that blowfly species can indicate the presence of morphine in the cuticle during larval growth, and, definitively, in pupa casings.

There can be four to eight generations during the year

Life Cycle: eggs: female lays her eggs on dead animals, injured live animals or exposed meat. Each female can produce up to 500 eggs in clusters of 20 or more larvae: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd instarpupal stage: may last 1-3 weeks in summeradult: emerges from the soil in May or June

Egg 26 hours(23-29)instar larva 24 — (20-38) Length: 3-4 mminstar larva 48 — (43-54) Length: 5-8 mminstar larva 60 — (48-96) Length: 10-14 mmPrepupa 360 — (240-504) Length: 9.5-12 mm *Pupa 14 days (11-18) Length: 9-10 mmTotal immature: 23 days (21-27)

Because puparial cases decay at an extremely slow rate and can be recovered years after the death of an individual, they can become very important to the examination of a corpse

feeding inflames the skin and flesh and, as they penetrate deeper, causes ulceration, eventual blood poisoning and death through bacterial infection

ranges from 7-13 mm in length

slow-moving and makes a loud buzzing sound during flight

Feed on animals, decaying vegetable matter or garbage

maggots crawl over the animal's skin or into wounds, causing extreme irritation

maggot produces a saliva that can dissolve flesh, enabling it to feed aggressively

Larvae (maggots) breed in decaying flesh and manure

if found on human body or at crime scene, can lead investigators in a direction of where the victim or suspect could have been & identify a primary crime scene

rural species, found mostly in forests/ mountains


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