The metallic green Common Greenbottle Fly can bring help, health, or harm depending on who you are talking to.
Adult Common Greenbottle Flies drink nectar and help pollinate crops like broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, onions, and kale. Adults are a metallic green color. Some have shades of yellow on their shiny bodies. All have black hairs sparsely covering the body and large red eyes. The timing of this species' life cycle is well-studied and useful information thanks to its diet and habitat.
Common Greenbottle Fly larvae eat from the carcasses of dead animals. Knowing the size and life stage of the maggots makes their presence at a crime scene useful in timing the decomposition of corpses. This species of adults is one of the first flies to arrive on a corpse. Thanks to short lives, they move through various life stages in days, not weeks or years, offering valuable information to forensic teams. Maggots have also been used medicinally to clear rotting tissue from humans when surgical options are ineffective or impossible. When placed in an infected, necrotic area, the maggots carefully devour the dead tissue, sparing the healthy tissue, thereby cleaning the wound. This same species, however, is detrimental to sheep. Larvae have caused sheep strike, a health concern created when they invade the healthy skin of sheep and cause sheep death if left untreated.
Scientific Name: Lucilia sericata
Other Name(s): Sheep Blow Fly
Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 10mm (0.35in to 0.39in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.