Lucilia cuprina Click to enlarge image
Australian Sheep Blowfly, Lucilia cuprina Image: R. Major
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    cuprina
    Genus
    Lucilia
    Family
    Calliphoridae
    Super Family
    Oestroidea
    Order
    Diptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    6-9 mm

Introduction

The Australian Sheep Blowfly is an introduced pest.

Habitat

The Australian Sheep Blowfly lives in urban areas, semi-arid environments, forests and woodlands.

Distribution

The Australian Sheep Blowfly is found throughout Australia.

Feeding and diet

The larvae of the Australian Sheep Blowfly normally feed on carcasses of dead animals but will also cause fly-strike in sheep. Fly-strike occurs when maggots feed on living flesh near open wounds, and is one of the most significant problems for the pastoral industry in Australia.

Life history cycle

Adult Australian Sheep Blowflys are attracted to meat or living flesh and, like many blowflies (family Calliphoridae), they lay maggots rather than eggs. This means their full life cycle can sometimes be completed within seven days.