Subject: Fly with Really Large Eyes
Location: Northeast Florida
June 24, 2012 7:23 pm
Here’s another fly I saw the other day in my yard in northeast Florida. It wasn’t very big, about 10mm, but it had enormous eyes that almost took up its entire head. With its huge red eyes and bright blue-green body I thought it was colorful and interesting. I went looking for it on BugGuide and found that it’s a Chrysomya megacephala, also known as a Hairy Maggot Blowfly–not a very appealing name! I couldn’t find any flies like this one on What’s That Bug so I’m sending you a photo.
Signature: Karen in FL
This is the second time this week you have provided us with a wonderful new fly species photo for our site as well as doing the necessary research to determine the species. BugGuide does not provide any information on the species page for Chrysomya megacephala, but if our knowledge of ancient languages is not too rusty, we believe megacephala refers to the large head in Greek and Ask.com supports that. On the genus page on BugGuide, we learned that “Adults are robust flies metallic green in color with a distinct blue hue when viewed under bright sunlit conditions. The posterior margin of the abdominal tergites are a brilliant blue” and as an introduced species, “It is now established in Southern California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. It is also found throughout Central America, Japan, India, and the remainder of the old world.” Backing off to the family page on BugGuide for Blow Flies, the reader learns that they are “scavengers (larvae in carrion, excrement, etc.) or parasites” and that they are “very common in a wide variety of habitats, including heavily urbanized areas.” Normally we do not link to Wikipedia, but that resource does have an extensive page on this species where it is called the even less appealing Oriental Latrine Fly. Wikipedia also states: “C. megacephala is considered one of the most important species of flies to forensic science. This is because it is one of the first species to show up on a corpse.”
I’m glad the fly photos are helpful! I learned about BugGuide from you and What’s That Bug?, and now I always try to identify the bugs I photograph by looking here and at BugGuide. Usually I can figure it out to my satisfaction. This was such a colorful fly and turned out to have such an unpleasant name! I’ve been seeing some very pretty Long-Legged Flies and I’ll try to send you some photos of those.