Blowfly pupa hatching, SEM

Blowfly pupa hatching, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Insect Detectives

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blowfly pupa hatching. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Calliphora vicina blowfly adult emerging from its pupa. A blowfly lays its eggs on dead bodies and this behaviour is studied by forensic entomologists. Eggs generally hatch within 24 hours. A Calliphora larva (maggot) feeds on the decaying flesh for 2-3 weeks, and then lies dormant in its pupa, slowly developing into the adult winged form. The head with its compound eyes (blue) is emerging from this pupa. The adult form generally lives for a few weeks. After mating, the females lay eggs and continue the cycle. Hatching (by incubation) of pupae found by a dead body can pinpoint the time of death. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, blowfly, calliphora vicina, coloured, crime research, death, decay, decomposition, emerging, fly, forensic entomology, forensics, hatching, head, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, pupa, pupating, scanning electron micrograph, sem, wildlife, zoology

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