The Common Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga carnaria) is a small insect in the Sarcophagidae family of flies.
The Common Flesh Fly has a black and grey body with longitudinal stripes on its thorax (chest) with a bristled, chequered abdomen. It has large red compound eyes. It has six black legs and translucent, lightly veined wings.
It measures up to 2.5 centimetres (about an inch) in length.
The Common Flesh Fly is native to Europe, from the United Kingdom to southern Europe, and east to the Altai Mountains, and north to the Kola Peninsula. It prefers urban areas.
It is a scavenger. It mainly feeds on fluids from animal bodies, nectar, sweet foods, and fluids from manure.
It is diurnal, active during the day. The larvae (maggots) feed on earthworms, and the adult flies feed on rotting meat and manure.
Unlike most flies, the Common Flesh Fly is ovoviviparous. Most female flies deposit eggs into dead meat, manure, or rotting material. However, the female Flesh Fly deposits up to 300 hatched eggs (the maggots) into dead meat, manure, or rotting material. The eggs hatch within 24 hours.
Maggots (grubs) are the larval stage of their life cycle. The maggots feed on the meat of dead animals for 3-4 days, then they pupate. After about 11 days, the adult Flesh Fly emerges from the pupa. This process is called metamorphosis.
The Common Flesh Fly lives for a short time – from a few days to about one month.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM