Blow Flies

What Do They Look Like?

blow fly picture

  • Color: Adult blow flies are often metallic, while larvae are pale in color.
  • Characteristics: Adults have sponge-like mouth parts, with feathery hairs on the terminal antennal segments of the males. Larvae have hook-like mouth parts.
  • Larvae: Blow fly larvae are also known as maggots. Measuring 9 to 22 mm in length, maggots are equipped with hook-like mouthparts and spiracles for breathing. They are soft and appear similar to worms or grains of rice. Each body segment of the blow fly maggot has a median row of fleshy tubercles that resemble hair.

These flies are active on bright sunny days near human habitations : they are often seen around dog feces. Adults sip both plant and animal fluids. Females sometimes lay eggs on open wounds. They are among the first insects to arrive at a carcass. Larvae typically develop in rotten meat and pupate in soil.  This species has been used in maggot therapy: sterile larvae are introduced into pus filled wounds to eat dead tissue.