Behaviour

Migration

Little is known about the large-scale migrations of blowflies. Calliphora vicina adults have been recorded moving southwards in autumn in a UK study, suggesting the species may be migratory in at least part of its range.

Diseases

C. vicina has been recorded from cases of myiasis, a parasitic disease condition where fly larvae are found feeding on the tissues of living mammals, including humans. 

Such cases are not thought to be very common and are:

  • generally only reported from small mammals, such as mice and hedgehogs
  • occasionally reported from reptiles such as tortoises (Sales et al., 2003)

Infestations are thought to occur mainly in autumn when these mammals experience low body temperatures prior to hibernation. 

Human myiasis cases involving Calliphora vicina are extremely rare.

Blowflies can also play an important role in food hygiene as they visit excrement, rotting carrion and foodstuffs with equal enthusiasm, transferring pathogens as they go.

  • A mass of feeding blowfly larvae on the body of a dead sheep
    Associations

    Find out about the parasites and predators that attack blowflies.