• Spiders
  • Beetles
  • Bees & Ants
  • Butterflies & Moths
  • Grasshoppers & Crickets
  • Dragonflies & Damselflies
  • True Bugs
  • Insects By State
  • Flesh Fly - (Sarcophaga sp.)

    Flesh Fly - (Sarcophaga sp.)

    Some Flesh Flies are found on dead and rotting animal tissue, making them useful forensics tools when determining time of death for human victims.

    Staff Writer (7/25/2017): Knowledge of the life cycle of certain genera of Flesh Flies can be valuable information. The presence of adults and larvae at a crime scene can actually assist a forensics specialist in determining how long a body has been in that area. The genus Sarcophaga lays live maggots, not eggs, on carcasses, and their size and life stage changes quickly. These means a timeline can be established that may prove useful in a death investigation.

    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.

    ©2005-2017 www.InsectIdentification.org. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Permitted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from www.InsectIdentification.org is strictly prohibited. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (insect bites, etc...). Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. Email corrections / Comments to InsectIdentification at Gmail dot com.

    Details of the:
    Flesh Fly

    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Flesh Fly
    Scientific Name: Sarcophaga sp.

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Sarcophagidae
           Genus: Sarcophaga
            Species: sp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 10mm to 14mm (0.39in to 0.55in)

    Identifying Colors: black, gray, silver, red

    Additional Descriptors: fast, flying, carrion, rotten, corpse, eyes, silver

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

    BUGFINDER: What Kind of Bug is This...
    BUGFINDER allows for a quick search of the Insect Identification database by selecting primary color, secondary color, number of legs and the territory / state in question. If only one color is present on your insect, select it again as its SECONDARY color. Remember that the more details you can offer, the better your chances of finding a match. As a rule of thumb, six legs are typical for most insects whereas spiders generally have eight legs.
    Primary Color:
    Secondary Color:
    Number of Legs:
    State / Province:
    General Category: