red-tailed flesh fly

(Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

red-tailed flesh fly

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Flight/Season

Summer

Habitat

Anywhere human or animal dung or carrion is found

Size

Total Length: 5 16 to 9 16

          Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

This is a small to medium-sized flesh fly. Adults are 5 16 to 9 16 (8 to 14 mm) long. They resemble the house fly but are slightly larger. The female is slightly larger than the male.

The thorax is ashy gray with three blackish longitudinal stripes. It is not metallic. There are 4 bristles on the notopleuron (a region on the thorax), and a row of bristles on each side of the thorax just above the base of the hind leg. The abdomen is gray with black markings in a checkered pattern. On the male the external genitalia at the end of the abdomen are reddish-brown.

The large compound eyes are dark red and face forward. There is a large bristle (arista) on the third segment of the antenna. The arista is long and is feathery only at the base.

The mouthparts are designed for lapping liquid.

The legs are black.

The wings are clear and have brown veins. The lobes at the base of the wing (calypter) is well developed. The R5 cell is narrowed or closed at the end (distally).

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Carrion or dung.

 
Adult Food

Human and animal dung.

 
Life Cycle

Adults begin copulating 2 to 9 days after emerging. The female carries the eggs in her body 9 to 13 days or more. The eggs hatch while still inside her body. She then deposits the 40 to 80 first instar larvae in carrion or dung. The larvae complete three instars, usually in 3 or 4 days, before pupating. In colder temperatures it may take up to 9 days. The pupal stage lasts about 16 days. Development from first instar to adult usually takes about 23 days but is greatly affected by temperature.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24.


Comments

Forensic Entomology
Flesh flies are often the first or one of the first insects to visit a corpse. This makes them useful in determining the amount of time that has elapsed since a person has died.


Taxonomy

Order:

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)

 

Suborder:

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

 

Infraorder:

Muscomorpha

  No Rank:

Eremoneura

  No Rank:

Cyclorrhapha

 

Section:

Schizophora (muscoid flies)

 

Subsection:

Calyptratae (calyptrates)

 

Superfamily:

Oestroidea

 

Family:

Sarcophagidae (flesh flies)

 

Subfamily:

Sarcophaginae

 

Genus:

Sarcophaga

 

Subgenus:

Bercaea

 
Synonyms

Bercaea haemorrhoidalis

 
Common
Names

red-tailed flesh fly


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

arista

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

 

calypter

Either of two membranous lobes that cover the haltere at the base of the forewing of a fly.

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Bill Reynolds


  red-tailed flesh fly   red-tailed flesh fly

       
       
       

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Other Videos

 
  Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis 01
JumpSpidersInc1
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 20, 2013

A short vid of a newly-emerged Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis. I sometimes will raise these to feed to my True spiders. Makes a nice treat for the spiders.

 
     
  Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis 02
JumpSpidersInc1
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 20, 2013

A short vid of a flesh fly. Watch the space between the fly's eyes.... Part 2 of 2.

 
     

 

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Bill Reynolds
8/25/2003

Location: St. Louis Co.

 

red-tailed flesh fly


     
     
 

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