Blow Fly Larvae

Blow fly larvae typically measure 9 to 22 mm in length, have a rice-like appearance and are soft to the touch. They are pale and become creamier in color as they mature. The only visible features of the head are the hook-like mouthparts. Two kidney-bean-shaped spiracles located at their rear enable breathing.

Blowflies typically lay their eggs on dead animal carcasses. When larvae hatch from their eggs, the carcass becomes a food source. After completing their development as maggots, they seek dry, safe locations within which to pupate. It is during this search for a pupating site that blow fly larvae are most commonly visible to humans.

The larvae of most blow fly species are scavengers and live on carrion or dung. Some species infest open wounds of living animals, sometimes assisting in the prevention of infection as they clean away dead flesh. However, some blow fly species also destroy healthy tissues.