Peckia Flesh Fly? on a fallen palm frond
Peckia sp.

Magens Bay, St. Thomas, United States, 2014
Magens Bay

Day of the Dead

With the black body, striped with pale white, and bright red eyes, this little guy kind of reminds me of one of Sylvia Ji’s catrinas. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. Oh well.

Do flies eat their sibs before birth?

The case of the missing unborn flies may have a solution: prenatal cannibalism.

Females of the small fly species Emblemasoma auditrix deposit their larvae on cicadas, insects on which the youngsters feed for about 5 days. Those larvae hatch from eggs while still inside their E. auditrix mother. While Mom carries a brood of some 38 wriggling larvae equipped with sharp mouthparts, she deposits only one larva on each cicada that she finds.

Since the mother fly’s hunt for cicadas lasts several weeks, some of the larvae face a long wait for food,(read more)

read more 2


280 days of Urbpandemonium #183

The flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae*) are a fairly distinctive group of true flies associated with dead animals. Many, but not all, place their young on carcasses to eat the decaying flesh–flies in this group are useful for forensics. Other Sarcophagid maggots are parasitic on other invertebrates, and at least one specializes on the nests of turtles. All are placed directly at their food source by a female who has carried her eggs inside her until they hatch. Adults might snack on the juices of the dead, but also like sweet treats like flower nectar and aphid honeydew.

*Flesh eating family

#428 - Grey-striped Flesh Fly

Seems to be Sarcophaga aurifrons, a large and fairly common species that despite the name (which means Golden-browed Flesh-eater) is usually called a Grey Striped Flesh Fly, Grey Striper, or just Grey Flesh Fly. Which is silly, since most Flesh Flies are grey and striped.

A live-birth species, occasionally found in homes after hatching from dead rodents in the walls or roof cavity.

This one was quietly grooming herself on a wattle near my home in Wellard, Perth

#274 - Flesh Fly

Sarcophaga sp., of the Sarcophagid family.  Literally ‘flesh-eater’ and they are indeed major consumers of carrion. A world-wide genus of medium-sized flies, usually grey with dark stripes, and red eyes. Nearly impossible to identity to species without close examination of their genetalia, but that’s true of many insects.

Wellard, Perth. Next to my front door, in fact.

At The Chez, I never miss an opportunity to talk about the latest corpse flower (aka “titan arum”) to gross out people’s olfactory senses. The latest one popped open—a few days later than expected—at the Biological Sciences Conservatory at the University of Minnesota yesterday. There is a method to its malodorousness:
The “fragrance” of the titan arum resembles rotting meat, attracting carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae) that pollinate it.
The inflorescence’s deep red color and texture contribute to the illusion that the spathe is a piece of meat. During bloom, the tip of the spadix is approximately human body temperature, which helps the perfume volatilize; this heat is also believed to assist in the illusion that attracts carcass-eating insects.
Analyses of chemicals released by the spadix show the “stench” includes dimethyl trisulfide (like limburger cheese), dimethyl disulfide, trimethylamine (rotting fish), isovaleric acid (sweaty socks), benzyl alcohol (sweet floral scent), phenol (like Chloraseptic), and indole (like human feces).
If there’s no corpse flower available where you are, you can get the same effect by scratching and sniffing any newspaper column by Ann Coulter.