Adult Flesh Flies drink animal fluids and may also visit piles of dung. Their larvae (maggots) eat the rotting, decaying flesh of vertebrates as well as dead insects. Many of them remain on the carcass they were born on, crawling over each other at a single feeding site, the sight of which may cause nausea in some people.
Adults in Sarcophaga have red eyes and clear wings. Their thorax ('shoulder area') has alternating black and gray stripes that may look metallic. The black abdomen ends in a brownish-red tip and spiky hairs. They are active all spring and summer. They can be found in open areas like fields, parks, meadows and parking lots. They may also be found in backyards and forests. This genus consists of almost 80 species and spans the entire North American continent.