Common Greenbottle Fly (Lucilia sericata)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Common Greenbottle Fly.
Updated: 3/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.