Sarcophaga carnaria, more commonly called the European flesh fly, undergoes complete metamorphosis during its life cycle.  This means that the larval stage looks completely different from the adult stage.  The larval stage is specialized for eating and growing, while the adult stage is specialized for dispersal and reproduction.  The metamorphosis occurs during a pupal stage (Campbell and Reece, 2008).

The European flesh fly reproduces sexually.  When adults come together and recognize each other as members of the same species, the male fertilizes the female.  Unlike other organisms, flesh flies are ovoviviparous, which means that the eggs are not deposited after the fertilization is complete.  Instead the eggs hatch in the organism’s uterus, and the larvae are held until the female can find a suitable host. Some examples of hosts can be found on the link at the bottom of the page.  The type of host is very variable for different species of flesh flies.  Some flesh flies utilize other arthropods as hosts, but most use carrion as a host for their larva.  This can be very useful in forensics. When people want to know the post mortem interval, which is the amount of time a person has been dead, they will look at what life cycle organisms such as the flesh fly are in. This subject will be examined more closely in interactions with other species.  When the fly finds a suitable host, it will perform larviposition, which means the release of the larvae onto the host.  The larvae begin feeding immediately.  After about five to seven days, the development of the pupae is nearly complete and the pupae are ready to pupate; when ready, the larvae leave the host and find a suitable location.  The pupation process takes approximately three days, after which the adult flies emerge and start the process all over again.  The whole process from larviposition to emerging as an adult takes approximately ten days (Diaz and Kaufman, 2013).

To check out the one of the hostest of the flesh fly, Acles acles, the moose, click here.

To view another host click here.

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