An insect which solves murders!

This humble Greenbottle Fly (Phaenicia sericata) was spotted sunbathing on my fern the other afternoon.

Whenever I see this sort of  fly I can’t help thinking about Jeff Goldblum’s slow and gory disintegration as he transformed into a deranged, acid spewing  “fly-man”, in Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of  “the fly”. However, the fly has redeemed itself, in my estimation,  knowing that in addition to being an important food source for birds(especially swallows and swifts at this time of year) the Green Bottle’s larvae can also help to heal festering wounds. They do this by eating the decaying flesh, whilst leaving the healthy tissue alone,  in what is now known as Maggot Therapy.  Also, because it is one of the first flies to lay its eggs within dead bodies, the development of the maggots in the cadaver can help the police to identify the time of death and has been used as forensic  evidence to obtain murder convictions.  And whilst I might not want to eat my sandwich if it landed on it(especially after knowing where it had been!), I think the Green Bottle’s lustrous, metallic sheen is certainly a thing of beauty!

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