Useful Tips

Description and photos of meat flies (cadaver)


If the title may confuse someone, then explain the following. The meat fly lays larvae, which are often used and in demand by people. Of course, this primarily applies to anglers who rarely go to water bodies without maggots.

The second use of the meat fly larvae was found in military medicine. In conditions of lack of medicines, rotting wounds were treated with maggots. Here, the property of the larvae to eat the dying tissue and not to touch the living was used. Several maggots were planted in a decaying wound, and after a while they made it clean.

Outwardly, meat flies, especially gray ones, are similar to ordinary house flies, but significantly exceed their size. The length of their body can reach up to 25 millimeters in some species. The body of all species of the family is covered with short fibers, so the insect looks a little shaggy.

The meat flies have huge eyes on the background of the facet type body, most often they have a reddish tint of various saturation.

Our help! Faceted eyes are a bit like a grid consisting of many separate particles - ommatidia, each of which “sees” its own part of space and transmits a signal to the brain.

Reproduction and lifestyle

Adult flies live only 5-7 days from the moment of exit from the pupa. During this time, they manage to mate and lay about twenty thousand (!) Larvae.

Our help! Since gray meat flies are viviparous, the egg stage in their development is absent.

The female lays offspring on decaying flesh. It can be meat, fish or other organic residues. The appeared larvae are very active and literally in the first seconds of life begin to eat intensely. At the end of the weekly period, these are maggots that are fully formed, by the standards of anglers.

After 10-14 days, depending on the sufficiency of the feed and the ambient temperature, the larvae pupate, the dams turn into caster. Pupae also attract fishermen, like fish, as hook bait, but they are used much less frequently.

A pupa imago appears on the third to fourth day of development.

Both adult insects and their larvae feed on decaying remains, such as:

Types of meat flies

The most common are three types of meat flies:

We will talk about them in more detail.

The gray meat fly is, as noted above, a viviparous insect. It reaches one and a half centimeters in length and is distinguished by a gray striped body color.

Attention! Thanks to the macro capabilities, we can see the insect in the smallest detail.

Green fly

The green meat fly has a body length of ten millimeters, which is painted in brilliant green. The most heat-loving kind of meat. In the middle zone of our country, a rare species, often lives much south.

The largest of the common meat flies is blue. The length of her body is usually more than one and a half centimeters. They hum very loudly when flying, almost like bees. It is these flies that have the largest, Michurin maggots that are so appreciated by anglers. Naturally, the body color of these flies corresponds to their name.

Now let's talk about what harm a meat fly can do to a person. Besides the fact that they are unpleasant when they appear near the home, they are still able to tolerate diseases dangerous to humans. The worst of them is leprosy, or leprosy. But this, of course, is very rare in our time, but even an upset gastrointestinal tract will not give us pleasant feelings.

In addition, larvae of meat flies can postpone on fresh, and even salted, products. So the meat fly harms all the same fishermen who hang out not completely salted fish for drying.

Annoy flies and our pets. They carry their diseases, eating corpses of fallen animals.

The fight against meat flies is simple and, subject to basic hygiene rules, may not be necessary at all. Just follow the basic rules:

  1. Do not plant a dump near your home, throwing meat and fish waste there.
  2. During the death or slaughter of animals or birds, it is imperative to bury their remains under a layer of soil, not to allow them to decompose in the open air.
  3. In summer, install nets on the vents to prevent meat flies and other insects from entering the premises. This is especially true for people living on the lower floors of apartment buildings, or in low-rise buildings.
  4. Hanging sticky traps can also significantly reduce the number of meat flies.
  5. A room heavily infected with flies can be treated with some kind of insecticidal agent, for example, the popular Dichlorvos.

Advice! When using a strongly smelling product in a living room, do not forget, then, to ventilate it in order to avoid your own poisoning.


For the same person who is not against breeding meat flies, and in particular their maggot maggots, this section of our story is intended. We will tell you how to make the simplest maggot from our favorite material for all kinds of crafts - an irreplaceable plastic bottle.

This is done as follows:

  1. Cut the plastic bottle into two so that the upper part with the neck, being turned upside down and inserted in the lower half, does not reach the bottom by 4-5 centimeters.
  2. Pour the sawdust with a layer of two to three centimeters into the lower part of the “one and a half” or “two-piece”.
  3. In the upper part lay a piece of fresh meat or a piece of fish that has started to deteriorate. You can, by the way, lay a few small fish rejected by you after fishing.
  4. Place the maggot in a shaded area.

When the meat begins to deteriorate, the flies learn it and lay their testicles there. Hatched larvae will feed on the substrate proposed by them. Soon, a week after hatching their eggs, they will stop eating, preparing for pupation, and will leak through the neck of the bottle straight to the sawdust.

Thanks to crawling in sawdust, maggots will clear of the smell of falling, and you can feel free to take them with you for fishing. If you put an egg in the moth, the larvae will be the largest.


These dipterans belong to the family Sarcophagidae. The name of the sarcophagids comes from two Greek words and literally means "eater of the flesh." In total there are more than 3 thousand species. Of these, 300 live in Russia. But most members of the family feed on the bodies of invertebrates, other insects, or larvae. People usually do not suspect their existence.

All sarcophagids are viviparous flies. Such a device gives them an advantage over competitors - egg-laying carrion flies.

For a person, 3 varieties are of importance:

The last two species parasitize on living organisms, causing myiasis.

general description

The size of insects ranges from 4 to 30 mm. The main color is black with gray longitudinal stripes on the upper side of the chest and a checkered pattern on the abdomen. Other distinguishing features of this group are the bristled abdominal cavity and red eyes.

Some meat flies have bristles in their eyes. But in most cases, the organs of vision are smooth.

Gray meat fly

Based on the biological classification, the whole family bears this name. But in the Palaearctic region, a dipteran insect is very common, not very similar to a housefly. This gray meat fly is very interested in meat and is often found on the market.

The insect is 2 times larger than the tungsten fly (body length 10-25 mm) and painted in a relatively even gray color. This individual cannot be confused with room.

The photo of a meat fly shows that it differs from a wolfart in a lighter overall background, clearly defined stripes on the chest and a checkered pattern on the abdomen instead of black spots. But the main thing is size.

Gray and Wolfhart Meat Fly

She lays larvae for meat with lightning speed. Prefers carcasses of mammals:

Larvae very quickly penetrate the flesh, where they develop during the week. When developing on corpses, after 7 days, maggots go outside and pupate in the soil.

An interesting feature of the larvae of some sarcophagids is the ability to fall into prolonged hibernation from the fall. Adults from such pupae appear only in spring. The life span of adult meat flies is only 5-7 days.

The danger of gray meat flies lies in their ability to carry dangerous infectious diseases up to leprosy. But destroying the corpses, they bring considerable benefits. Since the life cycle of meat flies is well understood, they are used in criminology. The size and age of maggots determine the time of death.

Wolfart fly

Wohlfahrtia magnifica also belongs to the family of meat flies, but has little interest in corpses. Her maggots parasitize in living organisms, eating soft tissues.

The size is very similar to brownies. The body length is 6-10 mm. She does not live in cities, because for breeding she needs sheep, on which she lays larvae. For this reason, it is almost impossible to see it on meat. The imago feeds on nectar, and the larvae live in livestock.

A characteristic sign of this species is 3 rows of spots on the abdomen.

Carrion flies

Representatives of the Calliphoridae family. Maggots of calliphorids, as in sarcophagids, feed on the flesh of dead animals, purifying nature from corpses. But calliphorids are egg-laying species.

In adults, calliphorids usually have a very beautiful bright color with a metallic tint. The genus lucilia is green, the representatives of the calliphor are blue.

These two genera are typical carrion. Females lay up to 2 thousand eggs on animal corpses. In search of falling, they are able to fly up to 20 km. At one time, the female lays 150-200 eggs. Since these flies found a good feed base in the cities, they can often be found in the meat departments of the market.

Blue and green meat fly

These species do not disdain any meat product. Often, they lay eggs on chicken, as in the market this product is often in the public domain.

Larvae of carrion flies can be smooth and hairy. The first variety eats only decaying flesh. And the second feeds on the first. Hairy maggots are active predators that emerge from eggs later than smooth ones. At the same time, these predators nullify the advantage of gray meat flies.

The life cycle of scavengers has been studied no worse than that of meat. Calliphorids are also used in criminal examination to determine the time of death.

Lucilia (green)

Lucilia is actually a family of carrion flies, numbering 1200 species. Adults have a beautiful green color. Adults feed on nectar.

Larvae develop in dead animal tissues, sometimes in manure. Lucilia bufonivora, living in northwestern Europe, parasitizes on frogs and toads.

Blue carrion fly

Calliphora vicina also has other names:

  • red-headed blue carrion,
  • blue meat fly
  • red-headed
  • red-headed blue fly.

This species was once very important in medieval healing. Today, the method of cleansing wounds with the help of maggots is again gaining popularity. In modern medicine, the maggots of the blue meat fly are also used to sterilize wounds and prevent necrosis. But now they are grown under sterile conditions.

Body length 5-14 mm. The dark blue abdomen is covered with bristles. The female lays up to 300 eggs and is capable of producing 5 generations in her life. Offspring are laid on fresh corpses or open wounds. The development cycle at 27 ° C takes 18 days.

Similarity and difference

Both families of dipterans belong to cadaveric flies. But if meat only causes harm to a living person, then carrion maggots are used to clean dead tissues from dead tissues.

There are more similarities between families than it might seem:

  • some species can breed in meat and feces,
  • some species have parasitized on live mammals (Wolffart in Europe and Lucilia cuprina in Australia parasitize on sheep),
  • adults feed on nectar of flowers.

Also, the larvae of flies on meat can belong to species from both families.


These two-winged insects can be confused with the usual housefly, but the meat flies are larger - 10-25 mm long (although there are species only 5-10 mm long). The body is most often painted in ash gray tones with black spots, stripes or a checker pattern, the eyes are usually bright red.

Female meat flies are viviparous - give birth to small stage I larvae. This gives them an advantage over carrion flies, whose larvae require up to 24 hours to hatch from laid eggs. The larvae of different types of meat flies are found not only on decaying meat and carrion, but also on rotting fruits, feces, manure and other decaying organic substances. Among them are parasites of insects and mollusks. There are known species whose larvae live in the wounds of mammals (mainly sheep), causing their ulceration - myiasis.

Extra-intestinal digestion is characteristic of larvae of meat flies. Occasionally, they eat the larvae of other flies, as well as the larvae of grasshoppers, beetles, snails and caterpillars (including the ringed cocoon Malacosoma disstria).

Larvae spend 5-10 days on meat, after which they move to the soil, where they pupate and turn into adult flies. Pupae of meat flies are able to hibernate for a long time, for example, some species of larvae Sarcophaga fall into hibernation and only in late spring turn into adult flies. Adult meat flies can be found on flowers. Their body is dotted with numerous long bristles, on which pollen easily adheres, thus flies act as pollinators. Adult flies live 5-7 days.

Meat flies are carriers of pathogens of certain infectious diseases (including leprosy). On the other hand, destroying carrion, they play an important role of the orderlies of nature.

The life cycle of meat flies is well studied, therefore, the presence of their larvae on corpses allows you to set the time of death, which is successfully used in forensics.

The family is divided into three subfamilies of 173 genera, 3094 species:

Insect appearance

The larva of a gray meat fly reaches 2-3 millimeters. It differs from most larvae of other species in that its rear part is equipped with a respiratory recess in the form of a cup with special valve plates.

Such an extravagant arrangement of the spiracles provides the larva with the opportunity to immerse themselves in liquids and cling to meat with mouth hooks without fear of suffocation, since the back is exposed to air. An interesting effect can be observed from the accumulation of many feeding larvae: their exposed and moving spiracles resemble sea anemones.


Females of gray meat flies are viviparous, which gives them a clear competitive advantage in front of other species. Flies lay larvae on meat, fish, waste products, rotting fruits, in a word on any decaying organic matter, including wounds on living things, which, after the appearance of larvae, turn into ulcers.

It is enough for the female to touch the abdomen for a moment to the chosen place so that the larvae are born and immediately begin to creep and bite into the meat.

The penetration site of the larvae is easy to track, since under the influence of the juice produced by the larvae, the meat begins to decompose quickly, releasing liquid and decaying.

Larvae feed on this “broth” and meat particles, as they prefer an already digested product.

Larvae do not neglect living creatures, eating inside the larvae of grasshoppers, beetles, snails and caterpillars.

After feeding for five days, the larvae move underground and pupate, falling into long hibernation, sometimes lasting for months. Sometimes the pupae even winter, and hatched flies leave the ground only in early spring.

It is interesting how adult flies come to the surface, since the body structure of an adult is not intended for digging the earth. But gray flies found an interesting way: between their eyes there is a frontal bladder, which when inflated increases several times and pushes the ground.

Adult meat flies, living only a week, spend most of their time on flowers, pollinating them, and in search of a place for laying off the larvae of future offspring.


Gray meat flies are common throughout the world, but their largest populations are seen in our country. European part of Russia, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia and Siberia.

You can meet meat flies from anywhere where they can access quickly decaying organic matter: in garbage cans, in summer cottages and street toilets, in markets with an open way to store food, especially in meat rows. Also, flies do not bypass hospitals in the field of operations.

By flying in search of a suitable place, flies, on average, can travel up to ten kilometers over their lives.


Large, with a bright noticeable color, meat flies stand out with metallic shades of green and emerald colors. They can be seen sitting on fences, walls and trees, as this species of flies prefers not to bother with long flights.

Larvae of flies develop on the corpses of animals and fish waste, not disdaining and cesspools. Adult flies also eat meat and sweet fruits.

One of the brightest meat flies. Размером не более 12 миллиметров, муха чрезвычайно заметна своей желтой головой в черных пятнах, переднегрудью в оранжевых пятнах и синим металлическим окрасом. Синяя муха предпочитает трупы в качестве колыбели для потомства, отчего очень знакома криминалистам, которые по степени созревания личинок и куколок судят о времени смерти.

Серые обыкновенные

Окрашенные в тусклые серые тона, мухи часто встречаются в местах гниения биологических отходов. Larvae laid by viviparous females live in rotting meat or parasitize on the larvae of other insects.

The human gadfly suffers such a dangerous disease as dermatobiasis. How to protect yourself from this insect, read in this article.

If you have been tortured by aphids, then create the conditions for the settlement of a seven-spotted ladybug. What you need to do for this, read the link.

What is the danger of gray meat flies?

Since the main habitats of meat flies are garbage dumps and other places with decaying garbage, it is not surprising that these insects are carriers of a whole type of disease, starting with gastrointestinal upset and ending with typhoid fever and cholera.

Larvae are dangerous in that when they get on the mucous membranes and wounds of humans and domestic animals, they contribute to the development of ulcers and provoke blood poisoning.

Protective measures

The most successful measures in getting rid of flies can be considered those measures that are aimed at cleaning the standard habitats of insects:

  • Permanent waste disposal and destruction on an industrial scale,
  • neutralization of liquid waste in sewer sumps or cesspools,
  • cleanliness in places of trade in meat and fish products,
  • timely removal of household waste,
  • destruction by chemicals of larvae and pupae in suspicious places,
  • installation of mosquito nets on windows,
  • washing hands before eating.