Explanation of Names
Sarcophagidae Macquart 1834
about 400 spp. in 49 genera in our area, ~3,100 spp. in >170 genera worldwide(1)(2)(3)(4)
At least Sarcophaginae have 4 setae on the notopleura: 2 primary and 2 subprimary setae.
Often lack distinct acrostichals.
Apical scutellar setae absent or reduced in at least the female.
Similar to blowflies, but generally blackish with gray thoracic stripes (never metallic); 3 black racing stripes on a gray background
The subfamilies are defined, both anatomically and biologically, in(5)
Pictorial key to some S.American spp. in(6)
Although a few species are distinctive, New World Sarcophagidae should be considered impossible to identify.[comment by John F. Carr]
worldwide and throughout NA(4)(1)
Larvae: many species are necrophagous, but some feed in mammalian tissues or parasitize other arthropods (bees, cicadas, termites, grasshoppers/locusts, millipedes), earthworms, or snails(4)
. Adults feed on various sugar-containing materials such as nectar, sap, fruit juices and honeydew.
comprehensive, up-to-date info is provided in(5)
Despite numerous online claims to the contrary, Sarcophaga carnaria ("common flesh fly") doesn't occur anywhere in the Americas. These records are, in part, influenced by a combination of erroneous common name usage and and an obsolete definition of the species. Instead of a single common species, this representation has since been split into nearly 150 subgenera comprising at least 800 described species. For example, virtually all identifications of that species on iNaturalist fall under this obsolete species definition and are taxonomically equivalent, at best, to the current taxonomic concept of Sarcophagidae.
a few tachinids have the characteristic sarcophagid thorax stripe pattern: