Monday, August 10, 2009
Green Bottle Blowfly
Green Bottle Blowflies belong to the genus of flies called Lucilia. They are large flies reaching lengths up to a 1/2 inch. They can be metallic blue-green or golden in color with black markings. There are black bristle-like hairs and three cross grooves (visible in the second picture) on the thorax. They have large reddish colored eyes. These flies are very common and can be found almost anywhere, city or country. The adults feed on sweet nectar, and picnic favorites, as well as garbage. They are very fond of sweet treats like pop. After mating, the females will lay eggs in masses of up to 20 eggs on the wounds of animals or on decomposing animal carcasses. Once the eggs hatch the pale yellow maggots will feed on the decaying animal matter on which they reside. It can take as few as two to as many as ten days to reach their full size. Once reaching full size they will fall to the ground and pupate. In a few days the adults will appear and begin the cycle all over again.
This species was raised for their offspring (maggots) for maggot therapy, this was done predominantly before the advent of antibiotics. Maggot therapy is still being used today in some extreme cases where wounds do not respond to antibiotics. Maggots prefer feeding on rotting and dead flesh, and leave living good flesh alone. So for bad wounds that refuse to heal, these maggots can be life saving, even if it does make ones stomach roil at the thought.