Flesh Fly



larvae (maggots) feed on corpses and carrion, and sometimes on the wounds of mammals, hence their common name. They are also found on excrement and decaying organic matter. Adults feed on sugary liquids like nectar, sap, and fruit juice. But sometimes they just sit in the sun casting tiny shadows.

A flesh fly in the family Sarcophagidae. They typically have three longitudinal stripes on the back and a checkerboard pattern on the top of the abdomen.

The one I photographed, above, was grooming itself on a yellow sign. It reminded me of this haiku from the Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828):

Don’t strike the fly! He wrings his hands!He wrings his feet!

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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