Currently viewing the category: "Flesh Flies"

Flesh Fly photo
Location:  Seminole, Oklahoma
July 24, 2010 6:11 pm
Thought you might like this photo of a flesh fly. It was snacking(?) on a cicada carcass. Or maybe laying it’s eggs in there? Love your site!
Amy Goodman

Flesh Fly

Hi Amy,
We have been going through the past several days of letters in search of one in particular, and we keep finding subject lines that intrigue us and distract us from our goal because we think it is important to post the distracting letter.  Your image of a Flesh Fly in the family Sarcophagidae will be wonderful as it will help our readership identify these large flies with red eyes and what BugGuide describes as a thorax with “
3 black racing stripes on a gray background.

June 23, 2010
We left the front and back doors open for more than an hour this morning and found we had let two large flies into the house.  We trapped one in a drinking glass and took it outside before eating lunch.  Later in the afternoon we took some photos.

We quickly identified this Flesh Fly in the subfamily Sarcophaginae on BugGuide.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “Flesh flies have rather broad pads on the feet;  males of many species have a red-tipped abdomen.”  Our specimen has a red tipped abdomen indicating he is a male.  Hogue also indicates:  “Most of the members of this family are wild flies, but many species accidentally enter dwellings that are near their breeding sites.  The larvae live in fish and animal carcasses and other decomposing organic matter, particularly discarded meat.”  After taking photos inside the glass, we released the Flesh Fly who stuck around long enough to have a nice photo taken on the outside rim of the glass.
Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA

Flesh Fly

ambush bug with flesh fly
I’ve spent quite a bit of time on your site in recent months, trying to identify arthropods of all kinds. One I’ve found especially fascinating is the ambush bug–what a formidable hunter!! Several days ago, I was astonished to find one with a Silver-spotted Skipper, quite a large catch for such a small bug. Today, spotted one with a flesh fly. My goal was a good photo of the ambush bug, not the flesh fly; unfortunately, the near constant breezes of the last week are not conducive to ultra-sharp pictures. I almost deleted the picture, but then something caught my attention. The fly, in her death throes, had given birth. Just yesterday, in thumbing through my new Kaufman’s “Field Guide to Insects of N.A., read that some flies, including flesh flies, are viviparous. If you like, you may post the attached picture. Thanks for all you do. Between your site, BugGuide & my new Kaufman’s, I’m happily IDing most of my arthropod photographs. Sincerely,

Hi Linda,
Your photograph is quite wonderful, even though your primary objective is not as visible as you might hope. Try to remember that the excellent camouflage of the Ambush Bug is key to its success as a predator. We will be archiving your image on numerous pages, including flies, maggots, true bugs and food chain.

Long Legged Fly and Flesh Fly
WhatsThatBug, (my apologies if you’ve received this multiple times due to technical difficulties with my computer) I have a few photos to submit for your site, if you find them up-to-par and/or needed. – Photo A: I noticed that you have a few long-legged fly photos, but they are from “artistic” angles. Great photos! But I thought you’d also like this straight on shot, for easy identification. Photo B: A cane fly, of course, affectionately called a “mosquito hawk” here. These guys swarm from March to April (+/-). They’re no problem unless they get into the house where you better catch it quick or risk letting it die a painful death in an incandescent lamp (the upturning bowl kind). The halteres (balancers?) are visible behind the wings. This appears to be a female with egg-swollen abdomen, but I’m no expert. – Photo C: One of the photographs is of a fly I didn’t see on your fly pages – the flesh fly. At least, that is what I gather from the description here: She (?) amicably posed near my husband’s garden. The fly probably completed much of it’s lifecycle on a dead squirrel my kids found in the yard last week. It was about 1 cm in length. … Thanks for all of your work and helping me differentiate between scary helpful bugs and those I should genuinely avoid. I hate to kill another creature, and it’s worse when I do it out of self-defense (or defense of my kids playing in the backyard) to find that the “wasp” I’ve killed is really a garden/people-friendly bee fly or mydas fly and no real threat. Your work is really appreciated!
Bossier City, (Northern) Louisiana

Long Legged Fly Flesh Fly

Hi Kaylene,
We will be posting your Long Legged Fly and Flesh FLy photos. Thanks so much for filling the Flesh Fly void on our site.