T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fly (Flesh) Sarcophagidae family

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Section: Schizophora
Superfamily: Oestroidea
Family: Sarcophagidae
Common name: Flesh flies

The Sarcophagidae family contains about 3,100 spp. in >170 genera worldwide. They are generally medium-sized to large (10-25 mm), robust flies, but there are a few species that are smaller (5-10 mm).
They are similar to blowflies, but easily recognised by 3 black thoracic stripes on a grey background (never metallic). Their abdomen has a checker-board pattern or it can be is speckled.

All Sarcophagidae incubate their eggs in a pouch of the female oviduct, and the eggs will usually hatch during the ovi-larviposition. There is one exception, there is a species that glues incubated eggs directly onto the host. 
Their larvae are typical maggots. Many of the species are necrophagous (feeding on corpses or carrion), but some feed in mammalian tissues or parasitise other arthropods (bees, cicadas, termites, grasshoppers/locusts, millipedes), earthworms, or snails. Adults feed on various sugar-containing materials such as nectar, sap, fruit juices and honeydew.

  



Photo showing the pattered abdomin of the Sarcophagidae family.