Image: Australian Sheep Blowfly

Australian Sheep Blowfly

Australian Sheep Blowfly, Lucilia cuprina.

R. Major
© Australian Museum


The Green-bottle, Lucilia cuprina, is a worldwide pest of sheep, imported to Australia from China. It is virtually identical to Lucilia sericata but occurs in drier areas. As well as laying in dead bodies and garbage tips, female Lucilia cuprina lay in parts of the fleeces of sheep that are contaminated with faeces and urine. The ammonia in urine is particularly attractive to the flies, and the young larvae can become established where the skin of the sheep has become irritated by the urine. These flies can then attack the living flesh of the sheep.

Lucilia cuprina is one of the first flies to lay its eggs in a corpse, and the larvae are of the smooth form.

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Tags decomposition, death, fly, flies, insect, diptera,