Blowfly maggot feeding, SEM

Blowfly maggot feeding, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Insect Detectives

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blowfly maggot feeding. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Calliphora vicina blowfly maggot (larva) feeding on liver tissue. A blowfly lays its eggs on dead bodies and this behaviour is studied by forensic entomologists. A maggot from a Calliphora blowfly can grow quickly, developing from egg to pupa in two to three weeks. The growth rate is dependent upon temperature, so the size of a maggot and the temperature can allow the time of death to be estimated. Other clues from blowfly maggots include traces of poison or drugs in the maggots, ingested from the corpse. Blowflies lay their eggs in open wounds and maggots are lasting evidence of such wounds. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, blowfly, calliphora vicina, coloured, corpse, crime research, dead body, death, decay, decaying, decomposition, eating, feeding, flesh, fly, food, forensic entomology, forensics, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, liver, maggot, nature, scanning electron micrograph, sem, tissue, wildlife, zoology

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