blue-green bottle fly

(Lucilia coeruleiviridis)

Conservation Status
blue-green bottle fly
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Blue-green bottle fly is a medium-sized blowfly. It occurs in the United States from New Hampshire to Iowa, south to Florida and New Mexico, and in adjacent Canadian provinces. It may be the most common blowfly (Family Calliphoridae) in the southeast. There are no previous records of it in Minnesota.

Adults are to ½ long, slightly larger than a house fly. Important identifying characteristics for this species include coloration, features of the face and antennae, and the number and placement of bristles on the thorax and abdomen. The abdomen and thorax are shiny metallic blue and green, usually with some copper color. The species epithet coeruleiviridis translates to “cerulean blue” and “green”. Both the thorax and the abdomen are covered with black hairs. Neither has golden hairs.

There are two large compound eyes at the side of the head and three small simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle at the top of the head. The compound eyes are brown and bare, not covered with hairs. They do not meet at the top of the head on either sex. On the male they almost but do not quite touch. On the female they are broadly separated. The antennae have three segments. The second segment has a longitudinal groove (suture) on top. The third segment has a long bristle (arista) on the upper side. The arista is feather-like (plumose). The face is mostly white. The upper face (frons), corresponding to the forehead, is black. On the male it is very narrow, narrower than the first segment of the antenna. On the female it is less than one quarter the width of the head. The area between the frons and the compound eye (frontorbital plate) is white. There are long sensory organs (palps) attached to the mouth. The palps are entirely orange or yellow, not dark at the tip. The protruding mouthpart (proboscis) is not slender and piercing.

The thorax has three segments. It is covered with numerous short, black, bristle-like hairs (setae), and several parallel rows of long black bristles. Each segment has four principal exoskeletal plates, one above, one below, and one on each side. The upper (dorsal) plates, from front to rear, are the prescutum, scutum, and scutellum. There is a distinct groove (transverse suture) across the thorax separating the prescutum and scutum. On the scutum, the two rows of bristles closest to the middle each have just 2 bristles, not 3. On each side, the small elongated triangular plate below the prescutum (notopleuron) has just 2 long bristles. The plate just above the base of the hind leg (hypopleuron) has bristles.

The third segment of the abdomen has uniformly small bristles on the margin.

The wings are mostly clear but with dark veins and a light, smoky-brown tint near the base. At the base of each wing there are two large rounded lobes (calypters) that cover the balancing organs (halteres). The media (M) vein is sharply bent. The first posterior cell (R5) is narrowed but open at the wing tip.

The legs are black.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to ½

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Three or four generations per year. Spring through fall.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The wings are held out at an angle when at rest, not almost parallel to the body.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Partially decomposed animal tissue and dung.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  1/4/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)  
 

Infraorder

Muscomorpha  
  No Rank Eremoneura  
  No Rank Cyclorrhapha (circular-seamed flies)  
  Zoosection Schizophora (muscoids)  
  Zoosubsection Calyptratae (calyptrate muscoids)  
 

Superfamily

Oestroidea  
 

Family

Calliphoridae (blow flies, bluebottles, cluster flies, greenbottles)  
 

Subfamily

Luciliinae  
 

Genus

Lucilia (greenbottle flies)  
       
 

This species was formerly classified as Phaenicia coeruleiviridis.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Lucilia australis

Lucilia oculata

Phaenicia coeruleiviridis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

blue-green bottle fly

green bottle fly

greenbottle fly

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Arista

A large bristle on the upper side of the third segment of the antenna of a fly.

 

Calypter

On flies: one of two small membranous lobes at the base of the forewing that covers the haltere. On mosses: A thin cap that covers and protects the capsule and operculum and drops off at maturity.

 

Frons

The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.

 

Halteres

In flies: a pair of knob-like structures on the thorax representing hind wings that are used for balance.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and insects, and as weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi or palps.

 

Proboscis

The protruding mouthpart(s) of a sucking insect.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

Scutum

The forward (anterior) portion of the middle segment of the thorax (mesonotum) in insects and some arachnids.

 

Seta

A stiff, hair-like process on the outer surface of an organism. In Lepidoptera: A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like outgrowth used to sense touch. In mosses: The stalk supporting a spore-bearing capsule and supplying it with nutrients. Plural: setae.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
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  Alfredo Colon
8/8/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

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Created: 1/4/2021

Last Updated:

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