The Flesh Fly: Sarcophaga crassipalpis


        Sarcophaga crassipalpis do not associate with many other species besides the other members of the order Diptera, such as the Calliphora vicina, or the milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) (GOTO 2009), an insect with a similar photoperiodic clock. Also, whether or not it is also found to happen often naturally, there have been interactions studied between Sarcophaga crassipalpis and Nasonia vitripennis, an ectoparasitic wasp (Rinehart 2002). Carrion-mimicking flowers are also part of the select few species S. crassipalpis interacts with; however, it is only certain types of mimicry that they respond to, as not all species are attracted to the same stimulus (van der Niet et. al. 2011). These mimicking flowers rely on flesh flies to pollinate them with other flowers that mimic the same type of flesh flies creating a specific outcrossing of genes (van der Niet et. al. 2011).Calliphora vicina

        S. crassipalpis, S. argyrostoma, and B. peregrina all exhibit a photoperiodic response in the larval period, thus making them more likely to interact in their adult stages of life (GOTO 2009).

         Globally, the most important carrion insects include members of the Dipteran families Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae (van der Niet et. al. 2011). These species are universally observed to coexist, but in slightly different niches; niche differentiation between these flies occurs along temporal axes such as seasonal variation in carrion abundance, as well as due to specialization according to carrion size, carrion type and carrion successional stage (van der Niet et. al. 2011). 

         The S. crassipalpis finds its food from decaying organic matter (Bănziger 2004).  The most common organic matter consumed by this species is from flowers, feces and cadavers   (Bănziger 2004).  An example of a flower they consume is the Cupa de oro, and the Lupinus bicolor. Lupinus bicolor

         On the food web, Sarcophaga crassipalpis is located with decomposers on the food web because it consumed decomposing materials and helps to break down the materials while collecting the nutrients from the decaying organism (Pape 2013).

         As far as known by scientists, the S. crassipalpis does not serve as a host to any other species, and humans do not use them except to study them for their reproductive cycles (Wessels et al. 2011), and they have no known effect on humans.

Next, learn some interesting Facts about S. crassipalpis, or return to the Home page.