The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

European Green Blowfly

Afrikaans name:

European Green Blowfly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Lucilia sericata

The European Green Blowfly is well-known all over the world. It can be found over most of South Africa, but it can be particularly common in the Western Cape during summer.

It reaches a length of around 12 mm. It is metallic green in colour with a bronze sheen.

European Green Blowflies are attracted to excrement, meat, carrion and other exposed food. They often lay their eggs in carrion.

This fly is a pest and has a reputation for biting sheep. The female lays eggs on areas of matted hair. The larvae burrow under the skin and the wound attracts more flies. To try and prevent this happening to their flock farmers shear the sheep often and dock their tails when young.

References and further reading

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 152

Pollinators, Predators and Parasites - Author: C. Scholtz, J. Scholtz, H. De Klerk - Published: 2021 - Page: 363

Insects of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Clarke H. Scholtz and Erik Holm - Published: 1989 - Page: 321

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 304

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