Belongs to: flies

Flesh fly Sarcophaga sp.

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Adult flesh flies have chequered bodies and red eyes and can be seen in gardens and around buildings all year

The young live off carrion, sometimes open wounds (hence their name) and sometimes dung

Common and widespread across Britain and Ireland


Large greyish, chequered flies with red eyes and large feet; 10–15mm long

Adults feed on any liquid they can find, including nectar


Females mate, usually in spring, and lay live young on mammal wounds, on rotting bodies and sometimes on dung

Maggots are yellow with pointed heads and reach full size in just a few days

They burrow into the soil and pupate through the winter, emerging as adults in summer

© Tony Gunton