False-colour SEM of a maggot on raw beef.

False-colour SEM of a maggot on raw beef.

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a maggot (2 hours old) of the greenbottle, or green blow fly, Lucilia caesar, feeding on a piece of raw beef. The greenbottle lays its eggs in places promising abundant food for the future maggots (i.e. rotting vegetation, dung piles, exposed food & corpses). The mouth end (not visible) tapers into a thin wedge with two mouth hooks to stabilise the maggot. Secreted enzymes breakdown & liquify the meat which, is then absorbed. After 2 moults (3-4 days), the maggots (larvae) pupate. Adult flies frequent unsavoury places & as a result pick up & transmit diseases to humans. Magnification: x22 at 6x4.5cm.

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Keywords: animal, false-coloured, fly, food spoilage, green blow, greenbottle, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lucilia caesar, maggot, nature, wildlife, zoology

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