The blowfly Calliphora vicina’s classification is a debated topic.  More specifically the family, to which it belongs to, Calliphoridae, is under scrutiny.  In some people’s eyes, the family of Calliphoridae does not appear to be a monophyletic taxon (Rognes 1997).  For more info on this arguement go to:

The currently used classification of the blowfly C. vicina goes as followed:

  • Domain, Eukarya:  eukaryotic cells which have nucleuses, membrane-bound organelles, and divide via mitosis (Campbell et al. 2008).
  • Kingdom, Animalia:  multicellular, heterotrophic, have posterior located cilia, and usually have some form of     locomotion (Campbell et al. 2008).
  • Phylum, Arthropoda:  exoskeleton is usually composed of the protein chitin and have segmented bodies with jointed legs, a head, and an abdomen (Campbell et al. 2008).
  • Class, Insecta/Hexapoda:  pair of compound eyes, three sets of legs, divided body into head, thorax, and abdomen, and a pair of antennae (Campbell et al. 2008).
  • Order, Diptera:  single pair of membranous wings, sucking organs on mouth, short and simplistic antennae, and minimized hind wings (CSIRO 2013).  C. vicina can also be put into the suborder, Cyclorrhapla (Natural History Museum Online, 2013).
  • Family, Calliphoridae:  row of bristles on the meron, absence of a prominent subscutellum, and a sharp bend on wing vein M.  The Calliphoridae family can be broken into three main subfamilies: Chyrsomyinae, Lucilinae, and Calliphorinae, which contains C. vicina (Marshall et al. 2011).
  • Genus, Calliphora:  bare stem vein, dull and grey thorax with “whitish” micromentum, and shiny blue abdomen (Olea & Mariluis 2013).
  • Scientific name, Calliphora vicina:  very dark blue, almost black, and two postsutural inra-alar bristles (Marshall et al. 2011).  They are easily recognized by their relative large size, their broad and compact body, the silvery dusting on their metallic abdomens, their bristly legs, and the narrow gap between male’s eyes, relative to females (Natural History Museum Online, 2013).

Figure #1 above shows where C. vicina stacks in relation to the other major phylums of Animalia in terms of evolutionary relatedness (Campbell et al. 2008).

Figure #2 to the left illustrates where the family Calliphoridae (which is broken down into its three subfamilies: Luciliinae, Melanomyinae, and Calliphorinae) is in relation to its closest relatives.  It starts at the major clade of Rhiniinae and goes down to the subfamliy Calliphorinae, which house C. vicina (Rognes 1997). 



The blowfly C. vicina is most often confused with C. vomitoria.  It can be distinguished from the latter by the hairs located behind the cheek.  In C. vicina’s they are short and dark, while in C. vomitoria they are long, packed thicker together, and are yellow (Marshall et al. 2011).  Furthermore C. vicina’s basicosta is orange or yellow (Marshall et al. 2011).  In addition, they can be told apart by C. vomitoria’s noticeable covering of orange hairs on the occiput (Natural History Museum Online, 2013).

To find out more about another fly, Lucilia sericata, which is very similar to C. vicina visit

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Go to Habitat to see where C. vicina is found!