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Grey fleshfly - Sarcophaga carnaria
Grey fleshfly - Sarcophaga carnaria


Grey flesh fly
The grey flesh fly (Sarcophaga carnaria) is also known as the "camouflaged flesh fly" or "carrion fly". The scientific name is more accurately Sarcophaga (Sarcophaga) carnaria. This species is in the order two-winged flies (Diptera), the suborder flies (Brachycera), the infraorder Muscomorpha (section Schizophora, subsection calyptrata), the superfamily Oestroidea, the family flesh flies (Sarcophagidae), the subfamily Sarcophaginae, the genus Sarcophaga, and the subgenus Sarcophaga (Sarcophaga). A scientific synonym for this species is Musca carnaria. The grey flesh fly is found in the Palaearctic ecozone from the Arctic Circle to North Africa and from Western Europe to East Asia, and occurs very frequently.
Camouflaged flesh fly
Camouflaged flesh fly
Adult Sarcophaga carnaria reach body lengths of 7 - 18 mm. The males are smaller than the females. Their bodies are slimly built, more or less hairy, and light grey, dark grey or black in colour. Their head, , appears almost square when seen in profile. The forehead protrudes and is narrow in the males, and wider in the females. 2 pairs of strong bristles run from the edge of the eyes to the forehead. The compound eyes are red and hairless and situated at the side of the head. Long, white hair is visible on the back of the head and on the "cheeks". The underside of the head has black hair. Their 3rd antennal bristle is longer than their second. Food intake is performed via a powerful proboscis.
Sarcophaga carnaria
Sarcophaga carnaria
The upper surface of the chest (thorax) is light grey to dark grey in colour. Three broad black stripes run lengthwise, flanked on both sides by a short black stripe. The abdomen has a striking checked pattern in silvery and dark grey. The upper chitinous plates (tergites) of the 3rd and 4th abdominal segment almost completely cover the hardened edges of the segments (sternites). The wings are almost as long as the body and have long hairs at the base.
The grey flesh fly is seen almost all year round. In the period from April to October, it occurs more frequently and is found in various habitats. They occur in particularly large numbers everywhere where old, rotting meat or faeces can be found. The adults often sit on trees, shrubs and herbaceous flowering plants, where they feed on nectar, sweet plant juices, ripe fruit juice or honeydew from aphids. However they also like the protein-rich fluid from dung or carrion. Some of the adult flies overwinter.
After mating, the fertilized females lay hundreds of large, light coloured eggs on meat, often on living or dead earthworms. For this reason they also penetrate rooms where meat is stored for human or animal consumption or processing. Egg laying also takes place on open wounds. Meat that has come into contact with such flies should never be consumed by people, for the oviposition of flies carry various pathogens into food. The metabolic products of the maggots are also dangerous.
The flesh fly maggots, also called "flesh worms" hatch immediately at suitable temperatures. However, it may be several hours before they begin eating the meat. To aid with this process they are able to liquefy the meat with the help of enzymes. The larvae breathe via respiratory openings at the end of the abdomen. After about a week, the larvae pupate. The pupae are able to overwinter.

Sarcophaga (Sarcophaga) carnaria
Common namesCommon flesh fly, Grey fleshfly
German namesGraue Fleischfliege, Aasfliege
Dutch namesDambordvlieg
Danish namesKødflue
French namesMouche grise de la viande, Mouche à damier, Mouche grise
AuthorCarl von Linné (Carl Nilsson Linnæus), 1758
Distribution
Continents:

Eurasia
Europe
North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain)), Germany, Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland), Baltic region (Baltic States (Estonia))), West Europe (Austria, France, Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands)), South Europe (Italy), Central Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic)
Asia
Far East (East Asia (Taiwan)), West Asia (Near East (Egypt))
America
South America
Argentina
North America
USA


Distribution by Synonymus:
Musca carnaria   Taiwan
CountriesArgentina, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesSarcophaga carnaria in faunaeur.org
Sarcophaga carnaria in dyntaxa.se
Sarcophaga carnaria in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Grey fleshfly - Sarcophaga carnaria
2. Camouflaged flesh fly
3. Sarcophaga carnaria
Quick search: Grey - Flesh - Fly - Sarcophaga - Flies - Black
Name - Scientific - Stripes - Pupae - Insect - Bugs - Flying - Larvae
Taxonomy
ClassInsecta
Insects, True insects
SubclassPterygota
Winged insects
InfraclassNeoptera
Wing-folding insects
SuperorderHolometabola
Holometabolous Insects
OrderDiptera
True flies, Mosquitoes, Gnats, Flies
SuborderBrachycera
Short-horned flies, Muscoid flies, Circular-seamed flies, Flies
InfraorderMuscomorpha
SectionSchizophora
SubsectionCalyptratae
Calyptrate muscoids
SuperfamilyOestroidea
FamilySarcophagidae
Flesh flies, Flesh-fly
SubfamilySarcophaginae
TribeSarcophagini
GenusSarcophaga
SubgenusSarcophaga
Speciescarnaria
Sarcophaga carnaria
Common flesh fly, Grey fleshfly
AuthorLinnaeus, 1758
 
Synonyms
Discachaeta insolita
Musca carnaria
Sarcophaga dolosa
Sarcophaga mehriina
Sarcophaga schulzi
Sarcophaga vulgaris
Volucella carnaria
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