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pigment in blue bottle files

Richard E. Clopton septate at tamsun.tamu.edu
Thu Jun 9 10:41:01 EST 1994

_____________<stuff deleted--you've seen it in the above post>________

I don't know how closely Chuck has looked at his flies, but I think 
the answer to the question of differential coloration in Blow Flies
is a lot simpler than the suggestions I've seen posted so far.

Bottle Flies, Blow Flies (all the same sort of animals, different 
common names) come in a variety of colors.  I suspect that the 
bluebottle flies that Chuck has been looking at are not all the same

In North America there are really 3 major groups of metallic 
Calliphorids that could be taken for blue bottle flies.  I'll cover
the dominant species below, but this NOTHING more than a cursory
survey of the NA fauna.

(** is my notation for begin/end italics)

Common Blow flies that REALLY do look metallic blue:
**Calliphora vomitoria** and **C. vicina**.  Both VERY common in the
United States--the classic BLUE BOTTLE Flies.

Common Blow flies that REALLY do look shiny to metallic black:
**Phormia regina** entomologists call 'em black blow flies.  They look
like **Calliphora** to the non-dipterist, but they're black rather than

Common Blow flies that REALLY do look metallic green:
**Phaenicia sericata** and **Lucilia illustris**.  The former is much
more common.  The latter is usually misidentified in the literature and
reported as **Phaenicia caesar** (an animal that, to the best of our
knowledge, does not occur in the New World).

Common Blow Flies that do not look all that mettalic, but are simply to
spiffy for a parasitologist to ignore:
**Pollenia rudis**.  Rather than metallic, the body surface is pollinose,
almost a dusty yellow.  The larvae are PARASITES of earthworms.  Hip.

(Prodigal parasitologist--I started out in entomology.)

Richard E. Clopton      ". . .there are few situations in life that cannot
septate at tamsun.tamu.edu  be honourably settled, and without loss of time,
Dept. of Entomology      either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting
Texas A&M University     a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice
Parasitologist.          upon a dark night."  --Ernest Bramah

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