Adult Flesh Flies are greyish with 3 black stripes running the length of the top surface of the thorax (just behind the head). They have a light and dark checkerboard pattern on the abdomen and are about ½” long.
Flesh Flies are similar to Blow Flies in their biology. Most Flesh Flies near the home are attracted to odors of decay. They breed in manure, decaying vegetation and animal flesh or meat. The female deposits live larvae on fresh animal carcasses and on dead snails and large insects.
Blow Fly larvae and immature grasshoppers are common hosts of Flesh Flies. There are recorded cases where females have deposited larvae into open wounds of animals, including humans, hence their names as Flesh Flies. The adult flies do not bite but feed on a wide range of liquid substances.
Most larvae infest wounds, carrion, or manure. Little is known about the efficacy of Fly Predators on this species. They are generally only an occasional pest of cows and horses. The larvae of some species of Flesh Flies are beneficial in that they prey on the immature stages of more harmful insects.
The larvae feed in the dung, eating organic matter and other smaller fly larvae. When they devour the larvae of common Stable Flies, the larvae destroy a pest that causes endless aggravation for cattle. The larvae of some species are found in damp soil where they prey on small invertebrates.
The adult Green Bottle Flies are shiny metallic green to bronze. Medium-sized, these stout flies are 1/4”-1/2” long.
The thorax has 3 cross-grooves and black bristle-like hairs. The antennae and legs are black. The wings are clear with light brown veins.
Female Green Bottle Flies lay up to 180 eggs on carrion, dead fish, manure, unprotected wounds, or garbage. The larvae attain full size in 2-10 days, drop to the soil, and burrow shallowly before pupating. There are up to 8 generations a year, the last overwintering as larvae in the soil.
The Green Bottle Fly is not as attracted to the smell of fresh meat as is the Blue Bottle Fly. It is also less likely to enter homes. It is often found near dog feces, manure, and garbage cans.
Dr. Bill ClymerFort Dodge Animal Health, Dr. Roy EllisPrairie Pest Management, Dr. Kevin FloateAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dr. Robert M. Miller, DVM, Dr. William QuarlesBio-Integral Resource Center. All illustrations 2006 Dr. Roy Ellis.
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