Colorful Seekers of Rot and Decay

Most try to avoid being around the dead but these Common Green Bottle Flies can’t get to a fresh corpse fast enough where they will lay their eggs which hatch within hours so their progeny can dine on rotting flesh. The mortal remains of a freshly killed Eastern Mole, circumstances unknown, found along the shaded trail to the Boathouse at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area was quite the magnet for innumerable Green Bottle Flies swarming the carcass.

Detail of the many faceted compound eye.

These flies also play an important role in law enforcement, since they show up at a corpse almost immediately. “In forensic science, the larvae or maggots help to determine the period of insect colonization as it relates to the time of death, aiding law enforcement in their investigations,” according to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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