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. This maggot is buried in its meal, breathing through holes about its anus (yellow). A Calliphora blowfly maggot can grow quickly, developing from egg to pupa in 2-3 weeks. The growth rate depends 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 drugs or poison in the maggots, ingested from the dead body. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, anus, blowfly, breathing holes, buried, burrowing, 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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