Blowfly laying eggs, SEM

Blowfly laying eggs, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Insect Detectives

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blowfly laying eggs. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a female Lucilia sp. blowfly laying her eggs (lower left). A blowfly lays its eggs on dead bodies. This behaviour is studied by forensic entomologists. A blowfly detects a dead body by the odour of decomposition, and can arrive at a corpse minutes after death and lay up to 300 eggs. The decaying flesh is food for the maggots (fly larvae) that hatch from the eggs within 24 hours. These two-millimetre-long eggs are laid in patches around moist orifices such as the nose, ears and eyes, as well as open wounds. Fresh and unhatched blowfly eggs will indicate a very recent time of death. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, blowfly, coloured, crime research, death, decay, decomposition, egg, eggs, female, fly, forensic entomology, forensics, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, laying, lucilia sp., nature, ovipositing, ovipositor, reproducing, reproduction, reproductive, scanning electron micrograph, sem, wildlife, zoology

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