|Common Name||Flesh fly|
|Size||Depending on the species, they range from 10 to 22mm in length when fully grown.|
|Description||Adult - Flesh flies usually have gray bodies with
three black stripes on the thorax. The abdomen has a light and dark gray
checkerboard pattern and is often red at the tip. Though some species
may be smaller than house flies, most flesh flies are about 10 to 13 mm
Larva - These near white to yellowish maggots have pointed heads. Depending on the species, they range from 10 to 22 mm in length when fully grown.
Distribution - As a group, flesh flies occur throughout most areas of the world although species distribution varies. Flesh flies are found in urban and rural communities but, fortunately, are relatively uncommon in houses or restaurants. They breed in excrement, decaying vegetable matter and animal flesh or meat.
Feeding Habits - Adult flies do not bite but feed on a wide
range of liquid substances. Most larvae infest wounds, carrion or
excrement. The larvae of some species of flesh flies are beneficial in
that they prey on eggs, nymphs, or larvae of more harmful insects.
Lesser house fly larvae, blow fly larvae, and grasshopper nymphs are
common hosts of flesh flies.
|Habitat||Flesh flies are found in urban and rural
communities but, fortunately, are relatively uncommon in houses or
restaurants. They breed in excrement, decaying vegetable matter and
animal flesh or meat.
|Lifecycle||The life cycle of flesh-fly larvae has been well
researched and is very predictable. Different species prefer bodies in
different states of decomposition, and the specific preferences and
predictable life cycle timings allows forensic entomologists to
understand the progress of decomposition and enables the calculation of
the time of death by back extrapolation. This is done by determining the
oldest larva of each species present, measuring the ambient temperature
and from these values, calculating the earliest possible date and time
for deposition of larvae. This yields an approximate time and date of
death (d.o.d.) This evidence can be used in forensic entomology
investigations and may assist in identification of a corpse by matching
the calculated time of death with reports of missing persons. Such
evidence has also been used to help identify murderers.
|Disease Transmitted||Flesh-flies can carry leprosy bacilli and can transmit
intestinal pseudomyiasis to people who eat the flesh-fly larvae.
Flesh-flies can also cause myiasis in animals, mostly to sheep, and can
give them blood poisoning, or asymptomatic leprosy infections.
|Type of damage||The symptoms depends on the tissue invaded, if it is in
the skin, the infection starts as itchy sores then develop into painful
boil-like lesions which often ooze.
|Sources / breeding||• Most flesh flies breed in carrion, dung, or decaying material, but a few species lay their eggs in the open wounds of mammals; hence their common name. Some flesh fly larvae are internal parasites of other insects. These larvae, commonly known as maggots, live for about 5-10 days, before descending into the soil and maturing into adulthood. At that stage, they live for 5-7 days.|
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