Interactions With Other Organisms

     Once an animal dies the corpse goes through a lengthy process of decomposing.  Though the natural environment will weather the body it does very little of the work.  The true decomposers are several genus of diptera, one in particular being Calliphora vicina more commonly known as blow flies.  C. vicina is most probable to be the first decomposer to invade the body.  It uses the fresh flesh as a place for its eggs to hatch and develop.  After laying its eggs the mother will die very quickly. After the larvae hatch they begin to feed on the flesh by spitting digestive enzymes on it and with their mouth hooks.  This process is what truly decomposes the body.  Multiple larval groups will be deposited onto a single body by multiple different C. vicina causing massive decay in the body.  Without the C. vicina to help with the decomposition of the body (or any decomposers for that matter) the corpse becomes not decomposed but mummified (after a few years) (Fabre J.H.1919). 
  Once the larvae have fully matured into flies they will take to the skies and look for a specimen to lay their own eggs on. While C. vicina can be found world- wide they tend to be more prosperous in more tropical, warmer regions. They are oddly comfortable around other animals and will readily invade people’s homes if the window is left cracked. It does not portray this behavior as a dependency for food, though it will eagerly take a sip of any sugary substance that is left out to sit. They do have an affinity with bright light which may lead them to a well-lit porch to pester you in the dark (Oldroyd H. 1964).  Though during the day they prefer more shady environments.  They also will eat decaying fruit for nourishment and seem to enjoy a high sugar diet (Bharti, M. & Singh, D. 2003)

C. vicina also have many predators mainly when they are in there larval stage of life.  Predators mainly include ants (to learn more about ants visit and birds in a forest environment and less commonly wasps (to learn more about wasps visit  and spiders to learn more about spiders visit would attack.

C.vicina are almost poetic in their lifecycle. For in their youth as larva they will assist in the clean up of death and as adults they help in the prosperity of life.  In their adult life C. vicina make excellent pollinators.  The mostly feed off of the pollen of flowers but will eat anything with a high sugar diet (Fabre J.H.1919).


Click on Role In Forensics to find out how this species can be critical in estimating time of death