Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Calliphoridae - Blow Flies

cluster fly or something close? - Pollenia Blow fly - Calliphora vicina Pollenia Green Fly - Lucilia illustris Blow Fly Blow Fly -  - Calliphora vomitoria Unknown Blow Fly - Lucilia Unknown Fly 1 - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Calyptratae)
Superfamily Oestroidea
Family Calliphoridae (Blow Flies)
Other Common Names
Bluebottle and Greenbottle Flies
Explanation of Names
Greek callos 'beautiful' + phor 'bearing'
84 spp. in 17 genera of 5 subfamilies in our area(1), >1,500 spp. in ~110 genera worldwide(2)
keys to NA genera and species in(1)
keys to eastern genera and most species in(3)
key to KY spp. at (4)
very common in a wide variety of habitats, including heavily urbanized areas
scavengers (larvae in carrion, excrement, etc.) or parasites(5)
Commonly seen "basking" on the exterior walls of buildings (flesh flies also have this habit). Some cause myasis in humans and livestock.(5)
Works Cited
1.Keys to the genera and species of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of America north of Mexico
T.L. Whitworth. 2006. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 108: 689–725.
2.USDA Diptera Site (now closed)
3.Blow flies (Diptera;Calliphoridae) of eastern Canada with a key to Calliphoridae subfamilies and genera of eastern North America
S.A. Marshall, T. Whitworth, L. Roscoe. 2011. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 11: 1-93.
4.Identification Key to the Common Forensically Important Adult Flies (Diptera) of Northern Kentucky
5.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.