Currently viewing the category: "Flesh Flies"

Subject: Parasitic larvae explode from lizard a la Alien
Location: Gainesville, Fl
August 25, 2013 8:49 am
So my friend found an ailing lizard (Anolis carolinensis) yesterday in north-central Florida. He thought it might die, so he took it with him in some sort of rescue attempt. Anyway, he looks at it an hour later, the lizard was dead, and the small black dot behind the lizard’s front leg had exploded into a gaping hole filled with large wriggling larvae of some sort. It certainly appears as though they were trying to escape after their host had died. He knew I’m into reptiles, so he showed it to me. The lizard was quite familiar, but the parasites less so. They look kind of like maggots to me, but most fly maggots are in dead things, when these were clearly inside the living lizard and killed it.
Signature: lizard guy

Lizard with Maggots

Lizard with Maggots

Dear lizard guy,
We agree that these look like maggots, but we do not know of any flies that parasitize lizards.  We will continue to do some research, but we are posting your letter and photos in the hope that one of our readers can come to our assistance.

Maggots emerge from Lizard

Maggots emerge from Lizard


Subject: Passenger Flies (Serbia to Slovenia)
Location: Originally Serbia, now Slovenia
February 14, 2013 5:00 am
There was an accident in a tunnel just after we crossed from the Bulgarian border that created a huge backup on the road. While we were at a complete stop on a very warm day in late August we picked up some uninvited passengers we couldn’t seem to shake. 4 Humans and 3 Flies in a BMW wagon. So, to amuse myself I took pictures of them. One in particular was much more interesting than I was expecting.
If you are able to help with identification that would be lovely. 🙂
Next up, flies in Germany. 🙂
Signature: Curious Girl

Flesh Fly with hitchhiking Mites

Dear Curious Girl,
How sad that your human passengers were less interesting than this fly.  We believe this is a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae.  You can see additional images and read about North American species on BugGuide.  Interestingly, it appears that this Flesh Fly has picked up some hitchhikers of its own.  The red dots on the thorax and leg are most likely phoretic mites that are hoping to be transported to their next meal.

Oh, that makes sense except this fly was no bigger than the others and they were all what I would call, “standard” fly size not one of those big ones like the North American versions seem to be from descriptions but my understanding is these are worldwide and there are many different varieties and sizes?
However, up till now I had thought the red was just pretty decorations adding interest to the fly.
As for the Sarchophagidae it would seem the other two flies I sent with the Flesh Fly could then be Satellite (metopia) Flies which puts them in the same family (? is that correct? Family? I get so confused by classificiations).
Pretty cool they have live births instead of laying eggs.
Anyway, the day I sent these last pics to you I went out here in Cyprus to an explosion of bug life so captured pictures of dozens of interesting flies and little (+ bigger) bees among other things. So, expect more from me soon. 🙂
And thanks so much for the assist. It’s soooo cool to know these have names and descriptions in the world. 🙂

More bug love
Location: s. indiana
October 11, 2011 7:33 pm
Found these little guys doing the deed on the hood of my SUV. Are these are regular house flies?
Signature: brian

Mating Flesh Flies

Hi Brian,
These are not House Flies.  We believe they are Flesh Flies in the family Sarcophagidae.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “Similar to blowflies, but generally blackish with gray thoracic stripes (never metallic); 3 black racing stripes on a gray background” and they often have red eyes.

October 13, 2011 5:54 am
You are right these are flesh flies
Signature: brian

Location: St. Louis, MO
June 22, 2011 10:55 am
Recently my family and I have noticed flies in our kitchen. (They look bigger
than normal houseflies, and are showing up in great numbers.) We don’t know
where they are coming from or what type they are. The flies have red eyes, red
head, and a hairy body.
-The Fogarty Family
Signature: The Fogarty Family

Flesh Fly

Dear Fogarty Family,
You have Flesh Flies.  Some species breed in rotting meat and others breed in other types of rotting organic matter.  In our Glassell Park studio in the 1980s, we had a horrible infestation of Flesh Flies that bred in the rotting potatoes under the kitchen sink.  Take out the garbage more frequently especially when the weather is especially warm.

Attack of the flies!
Location: Pleasanton, CA
June 20, 2011 3:45 pm
Before this morning, I haven’t seen more than 2 flies in my home at one time. Last night the coast was clear and then this morning I woke up to my hallway covered in these suckers. They look like house flies but gray and probably like 5 times bigger. At first none of them were flying, only crawling around like a spider would but then when it started to get warmer during the day they flew all over. I took to the internet and tried to identify the best I could and the closest I saw was a stable fly. Um, how and why?! Orkin man came later on in the day and sprayed and said that I had nothing to worry about that it’s not what I think it is. He told me that it’s just a bigger version of a green house fly. I was comforted until he said that because it looks nothing like that! These things are resilient too. I sprayed one with Windex and Pinsol and then stomped on it and it was still squirming!
These are the best pictures that I could get since all the other ones I killed have all their guts smashed out and markings are not quite visible any longer.
Please tell me I’m wrong in thinking that this is a stable fly. I would love to be wrong. And/or tell me that I’m overreacting to the dangers. I keep thinking that I’ll go to sleep tonight just to wake up to welts from bites and have more of these suckers on the wall and everywhere around me!
Signature: Scared and paranoid

Flesh Fly

Dear Scared and paranoid,
We hope we are able to comfort you by telling you that this is NOT a Stable Fly, though our actual identification might send you over the edge.  This is a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae.  We also don’t believe the Orkin Man solved your problem, though we are certain he had no problems separating you from your money.  All he could succeed in doing was to kill the living Flesh Flies that had emerged in your home, but he could do nothing to prevent future occurrences.  Flesh Flies do not bite and the adults do not pose any threat to you.  Flesh Flies breed in decaying organic matter, including decomposing animals.  Perhaps there was a dead animal in the walls which resulted in your Flesh Fly invasion.  When the weather is warm, Flesh Flies may breed very quickly in decaying food like meat bones and fat or fish carcasses in the garbage can that has not been properly emptied.  Once, we had some rotten potatoes under the sink and that proved to be a breeding ground for Flesh Flies.  You need to locate the source of the invasion, though Flesh Flies will not continue to breed in a carcass once it has passed a certain stage of decomposition.  Generally, once the original infestation has occurred, you do not need to worry about subsequent invasions.  See BugGuide for additional information on Flesh Flies.

Fuzzy Flies and Robot Fly!
Location: Sacred Valley, Peru
March 3, 2011 1:49 pm
Hello! I am in Peru in the Sacred Valley out of Cuzco. I have 2 fuzzy fly specimen I was hoping you could help me identify! I don’t believe they’re the same! I also got lucky with this last shot of a fly who looks like he’s part machine! What are they…offically?
Thanks, WTB team!
Signature: offthegridinperu

Bee, possibly Long-Horned Bee

Dear offthegridinperu,
We are amused that despite being off the grid, you have internet access.  One of your lovely Peruvian insects is not a Fly.  It is a Bee, and we believe it may be a Long-Horned Bee in the tribe Eucerini.  You may compare your photo to some North American Long-Horned Bees posted to BugGuide.

Fly, possibly Tachinid Fly

We believe one of your Flies is a Tachinid Fly.  Tachinids are parasitic to a wide variety of insects and they are often quite spiny.  You may use BugGuide to see some examples of North American Tachinids.  Finally, we believe the Fly you compared to a machine may be a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae, and again, North American species may be found on BugGuide.

Fly, possibly Flesh Fly