Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blue Bottlefly


    The blue bottle fly or bottlebee (Calliphora vomitoria) is a common blow-fly found in most areas of the world and is the type species for the genus CalliphoraSimilar species include the green bottle fly, a close relative that can be distinguished by its bright green metallic colouring. Blue bottle fly adults feed on nectar, while the larvae feed on carcasses of dead animals. Adults are also pollinators to some flowers with strong odor.It is 10–14 millimetres (0.4–0.6 in) long, slightly larger than a housefly. The head and thorax are dull gray and the abdomen is bright metallic blue with black markings. Its body and legs are covered with black bristle-like hair. It has short, clubbed antennae and 4 tarsi per leg. The eyes are red and the wings are transparent. The legs and antennae are black and pink. The chest is bright purple and has spikes to protect themselves against other flies. These insects like to fly in packs in order to detect possible prey more efficiently. If one fly detects food, it will disperse a pheromone which will alert the others to the meal.

Behavior, feeding and habitat

     A female blue bottle fly lays her eggs where she feeds, usually in decaying meat, garbage, or feces. Pale whitish larvae, commonly called maggots, soon hatch from the eggs and immediately begin feeding on the decomposing matter where they were hatched. After a few days of feeding, they are fully grown. At that time they will crawl away to a dry place where they can burrow into soil or similar matter to pupate into tough brown cocoons. After two or three weeks, the adults emerge to mate, beginning the cycle again. During cold weather, pupae and adults can hibernate until higher temperatures revive them.They are pollinators of some flowers with a strong odor such as skunk cabbage and goldenrod.

     Its truely a learning experience watching Houseflies like the Blue Bottlefly, which perch on our garden on plant twigs and leaves. Morning, mid-afternoon and late-afternoon are the common times when I spotted the Blue bottlefly in our garden. I was experimenting Macro Photography with my new Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Lens, mounted on my Canon EOS 7D SLR, with a 12mm, 24mm and 36mm extension tubes. Some of the images are captured at a distance of 4 cms away from the Fly, with the help of Lens reversal ring, which gives extraordinary magnification with most ordinary lenses. Watching flies, grasshoppers have enhanced my patience and have helped me to control my breath, in order to stabilize the camera, which I worked hand-held, with a Pop-up flash and a tissue paper diffuser to diffuse the flash.

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