Subject: What is this, and what is it drinking?
Geographic location of the bug: Iowa- north Central
Time: 11:45 PM EDT
This bug caught my eye. I can only identify a handful of bugs. So forgive me if this is fairly common. It looked like a hairy “hulk” for a house fly.
How you want your letter signed: Bug Novice
Dear Bug Novice,
This is definitely a Fly in the order Diptera, and we recall reading once that Flies regurgitate their food, so we searched the web and found this image on Ask an Entomologist of a regurgitating Fly and the site states: “You’ve probably noticed an intrepid fly boldly navigating your pizza, lapping up oils and pizza sauce. Shortly after enjoying some of your meal, the fly, assuming it’s the kind with the lapping mouth parts, will have to throw it’s food back up and eat it again. If it’s walking on something solid, like your steak, it has to spit a digestive soup on it to help break it down.” Kids’ Animal Station has a similar image with this explanation: “Flies taste with their feet, so, if they think you taste good, (keep in mind that, from a fly’s perspective, dog poop tastes good, so you’d better hope the fly doesn’t think you taste good!) they might just vomit stomach juices on you in an attempt to liquefy your skin into something fly edible. Luckily, house fly vomit is not actually strong enough to break down human skin, but you still have to think about that tiny speck on your arm or leg that could carry disease.” We don’t immediately recognize your fly, and its red vomit is quite eye-catching, so we will attempt to identify it.
Update: Shortly after posting your submission, we found posting of a Blow Fly that looks like your individual on The Backyard Arthropod Project , and the speculation is that it might be Calliphora livida, but we would rather hope your individual might be a Blue Bottle Fly, Callipphora vomitoria, which is pictured on BugGuide, and whose scientific species name alludes to the possibility that it might be a frequent puker. Alas, no BugGuide images illustrate the regurgitation process, and no mention is made on BugGuide regarding the meaning of its binomial name.
Interesting! Thank you for your knowledge.
Originally I took the picture to send to my son who was visiting Grandma that day. I now wish I would have taken different angles, because this fly has intrigued me since I saw it.
Unfortunately I think you may be right on this blow fly. (However I don’t recall color. I could be mistaken) We live in farm land, surrounded by thousands (maybe million) chickens, as well as pigs. In addition these confinements have manure storage unfortunately close (within 5 miles) to our home. We have had an increase of weeds and flies because of it.
Thank you again!