Blowfly maggot pupa, SEM

Blowfly maggot pupa, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Insect Detectives

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blowfly pupa on carpet. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Calliphora vicina blowfly pupa that will hatch an adult fly. A blowfly lays its eggs on dead bodies. 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. It then moves to a dark place to avoid predation as it pupates. It lies dormant in its pupa, and slowly develops into the adult winged form. A pupa can survive fumigation and other hostile environments. The hatching (by incubation) of pupae found by a dead body can help in estimating the time of death. Magnification unknown.

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

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