Distribution and ecology

Distribution

Calliphora vicina is widely distributed throughout the Holarctic region. 

A frequently synanthropic species, it is also an invasive species and has already followed humans into:

  • South America
  • The Afrotropical region
  • Northern India
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Habitat

C. vicina is a cosmopolitan species found from the lowlands to above the treeline.

In Europe it is a very common urban species closely associated with humans.

Trophic strategy

Blowflies are not the only organisms to feed on carrion and there are a number of other invertebrates, bacteria and fungi that will colonise a corpse. However, in more temperate regions where the action of vertebrate scavengers is less important, blowflies are considered the primary agents of decomposition. 

They play a central role in the carbon cycle, taking the carbon and other nutrients in the carrion back down the food-chain.

  • A Calliphora blowfly laying eggs on carrion
    Population biology and management

    Calliphora vicina populations show local and seasonal variations in density. Find out more about the population biology of blowflies, and the current practices in place to manage them.