A synopsis on Cochliomyia macellaria, Phormia regina, and Pollenia rudis

A synopsis on Cochliomyia macellaria, Phormia regina, and Pollenia rudis

Cochliomyia macellaria

Cochliomyia macellaria Cochliomyia macellaria (Diptera: Calliphoridae), also known as secondary screwworm is an insect with a body that is usually metallic blue and in variable size with the pupa ranging from 5 to 8 mm while a mature maggot elongates to approximately 17 mm in length (Adam Jewiss-Gaines 2). The screwworm thrives well in the entire region of the US and its tropics, specifically, in Southeastern US where they are in existence throughout the year. In Canada, they are also seen during summer (Koller and Correa 35). Usually, the insect undergoes complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa and adult). The process of female group ovipositor results in large loose masses of laid eggs approximated at1mm in length.


Depending on temperature, these eggs hatch into larva within 24 hours. Majorly, the larva feeds on carrion until they reach maturity which takes 4 days (Heng-Moss 1279). Once they reach maturity, they search for an ideal location for pupation which includes topsoil, dead fallen leaves and rocks. The stage of larvae lasts for 7 to 10 days where they harden and form puparian. To complete its life into mature adulthood, the species us entirely dependent on carrion, decomposing carcass and rotten meat as such, and proper management of garbage needs to be carried out in order to reduce the possibility of insect occurrence in a given location. This reduced the annoyance and contamination risk of disease (Whiteworth 35).

The medical field, specifically, veterinary sector views the insect as important because of the economic loss it inflicts on animals through disease transmission and mysiasis and it is also used in forensic investigations to investigate post-mortem cases as it has specified duration of colonization to decomposition. This is due to the fact adults are attracted at stipulated times in any given occurrence of death (Whiteworth 690).

Phormia regina

Phormia reginaThis is commonly known as black flow fly and is a member of the diptera order. The insect has white calypteres, black gana and orange yellow anterior thoracic spiracles. Other features which are distinct include vestigial halteres and fore wings. The halters helps in maneuverability and stability during flight operation, they also have wings that turn into calypter for flying the makes posse neurodoctrine systems controlling mating behavior. The black flow, has historically been depicted as secondary myiasis producer in sheep striking zones of south western and south eastern U.S.A. where castration and dehorning operations are often carried out (Allen (80).



Similar to other insects that fall in this species, the life cycle is a complete metamorphosis. Females oviposit their eggs in large masses into nutrient substrate and once they hatch the larva continued to feed till they get enough calories to move to the next stage, the pupa. Finally, the pupa after thirteen days moulds into adult. During the stages of sexual development, diets are comprised of proteins like beef liver and dung which are the major component of their food intake. They ingest this by using their photolytic enzymes and mouth hooks which are used for chemical breakdown (Heng-Moss 1279).

Like most other flies, Phormia regina will feed through use of sponging. They use this while feeding on different kinds of food stuffs like liquid products of nectar, honeydew and decomposition. The insect is poikilotherm and growth is completely dependent on temperature which makes its body temperature vary relatively in respect to nocturnal and diurnal temperatures (Fletcher and Haub 103).

Entomologists use the insect in medicriminal entomology to help with post mortem investigations. The duration of carrion colonization is used to analyze the window time of incidence occurrence since blowflies are the first to invade dead bodies immediately after death (Cammack). Phormia regina, medically is economically important throughout maggot therapy. This is a form of biotherapy that introduces a maggot that is disinfected intentionally through maggot soft human tissue wound in order to promote the process of healing. This practice is not just limited to humans but it also extends to livestock. For example, in dairy cattle, maggot therapy can be used to treat milk that is contaminated with antibiotics while in horses, it is used for purposes of eliminating equine wounds (Bennett 1).

Pollenia rudis (Cluster flies)

    Pollenia rudis femaleOntario biology reveals these are the 6th members of the genus pollenia group. Usually, the insect differs in spiracle, thoracic coloring and basicosta as such, it is usually identified by other distinct characteristics. The flies are also well known by their habits to cluster the walls and enter into homes during winter (Byers 2345). In color, they are dull with crinkly, yellow thoracic hairs (Porter 14). During warmer seasons, they become a major nuisance to homeowners though they neither contaminate nor invade homes. These insects are common in Europe, eastern Canada and North America (Bennet 2).

This species of cluster flies usually has a life cycle that is varied. For instance in Europe, it takes an approximate 10 to 20 days for the eggs to develop to adults while in North America, it takes an approximate 27 to 39 days. Majorly, the larva feeds on earthworm species, where they develop to pupa while the adult p. rudis is herbivores on organic matter like sap, fruits and flowers (Vincas Buda 270). Because of their clustering ability, they lead to secondary infestations of beetles, carpet and rodents as such, they are a nuisance. In order to effectively control them, the hearthworm host is supposed to be eliminated from sites of infestation (Dawkins 3).

Cochliomyia macellaria Phormia regina Pollenia rudis
Distinct markings Metallic blue Black gana, orange yellow anterior thoracic spiracles and white calypteres Dull in color with yellow crinkly thoracic hairs
Metamorphosis development time 4 daysAt standard temperature 13 daysAt poikilotherm 10-20 days in Europe 27-39 days In North America   at standard temperature


Metamorphosis development time 4 daysAt standard temperature 13 daysAt poikilotherm 10-20 days in Europe 27-39 days In North America   at standard temperature
Approximate geographical range Present in US.A and Canada only during summerPresent in Southeastern United States throughout the year Only in sheep striking zones of South eastern and South western U.S.A. Abundant in North America, Europe, and eastern Canada
size Maggot, 5-8mm while mature is 17mm Poikilotherm hence growth depends on temperature Unknown
Food source (s) Carrion, rotten meat and decomposing carcasses. Proteins such as dung and beef liver Herbivores on the organic matter such as flowers, fruits and sap
Development threshold Rocks, topsoil or fallen limbs Overwintering inside of attics or lofts. Clustering the home walls
Abundant season Summer seasons poikilotherm hence available during the autumn and winter months Winter seasons
Life cycle Complete metamorphosis Complete metamorphosis Complete metamorphosis
Economic importance Causes mysiasis and diseases on man and animals Aids in post mortem investigations and medical intervention in human and animals such as cattle and horses Nuisance at home



Works Cited

Adam Jewiss-Gaines, Stephen A. Marsha, and Terry L. Whitworth. “Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identi.” Cluster Flies (Calliphoridae: Polleniinae: Pollenae: Pollenia) of North America (2012): 1-20.

Allen, Jason H. Byrd and John C. The Development of the black blow fly, Phormia regina ( Meigen). Gainesville: Department of Criminal Justice, University of Florida, 2001.

Bennett, Ralph E. Williams and Gary W. Household & Structural: Fly Control Aruiond the Home. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service , 2010.

Byers, John A. “Attraction of Bark Beetles, Tomicus Piniperda, Hylurgops palliantus and Trypodendron domesticum and other Insects to Short Chain Alcholhols and Monoterpenes.” Journal of Chemical Encology (1992): 2386-3045.

Cammack, Jonathan Allan. Advancing Forensic Entomology in Indoor Environment: A comprehensive Study From Coloniation to Dispersal. n.d.

Dawkins, Larry Durant and Stan. Managing Flies in and Around Urban Structures. n.d.

Fletcher, Fred Walker and James G. Haub. “Digestion in Blowfly Larvae, Phormia Regina Meigen, Used in the Treatment of Osternyelitis.” Ohio Journal of Science (1933): 101-109.

Heng-Moss, Nabit P. Leon G. Highley and Tiifany M. Effects of Temperature on Development of Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and use of Development Data in Determining Time intervals in Forenscic Entomology. Lincolin: University of Nebraska, 2006.

Jeffrey K. Tomberlin, Will K. Revees and Grage Sherphared. First Record of Chrysomya megacephala ( Diptera: Celliphoridaae) In georiga, U.S.A. Tifton: Depertment of Entomology, University of Geog@iia, 2001.

Koller, Wilson Werner and Antonio Thadeu Medeiros de Barros and Elaine Cristina Corrêa. Abundance and seasonality of. Bras. Parasitol. Vet., Jaboticabal,, 2011.

Porter, MIchael F. Cluster Flies, Face flies and Blow flies in Homes. University of Kentuckey, 2010.

Vincas Buda, Sandra Radžiute and Erikas Lutovinovas. Attractant for Vinegar Fly,Drosophila busckii, and Cluster Fly, Pollenia rudis (Diptera: Drosophilidae et Calliphoridae). Luthuania : Institute of Ecology, Vilnius University, Akademijos 2, 2009.

Whiteworth, Terry. Keys to the genera and species of blow flies ( Diptera: Calliphoridae) of the West inndies and Description of New species of Lucilia Robine au- Desvoidy. Magnolia, 2010.

Whitworth, Terry. Keys to the genera and species of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of America north of Mexico. 2006.