Behavior of Blow Fly Maggots

Female blow flies lay thousands of eggs, typically on decomposing carcasses. Eggs then hatch into larvae, or maggots, which feed on the carrion while they grow and then enter the pupal stage. Maggots are known to travel great distances in order to locate the perfect site for pupation.

Some species of blow fly maggots act as predators of other maggots and may even consume other larvae of their own species when food supplies are exhausted. Furthermore, their resilience and attraction to corpses has brought them to the attention of forensic researchers, who have begun to use these maggots in entomological postmortem investigations. Blowflies are generally the first to come into contact with rotting, organic matter, including animal and human corpses. They play an important role in decomposition and can assist in identifying the time of death.

Different species of blow flies are active at different times: the Calliphora vomitoria are most commonly found on carrion during cooler months, while the Phaenicia sericata are more active in hot seasons. Other species thrive more in the shade, while some require hot temperatures to complete the maggot developmental stage.