In the photographs above you will notice a pork sausage, no ordinary pork sausage but a high meat content sausage. This sausage was fried last summer in Romford at about noon on a Saturday. Its former partner was consumed immediately but this sausage was abandoned on a plate in the kitchen allowing it to cool before being placed in the fridge. Two hours later I returned to see a rather smug looking Lucilia (Green Bottle) sitting on the ceiling. As I know what brings on that look of self satisfaction in a female Lucilia I removed the sausage to the microscope for inspection. And sure enough a batch of eggs was discovered in a crevice. The eggs hatched the following day and the emergent maggots set about eating my sausage.
In Britain there are seven species of Lucilia all metalic green in colour.
Lucilia sericata is known as the sheep strike fly due to its habit of laying eggs in wounds or sores on sheep. The maggots then consume the decaying flesh.
Lucilia bufonivora lays its eggs on toads. The maggots then proceed to consume what was once a healthy toad.
In the main the other species spend their time sitting around on faeces and laying their eggs on rotting corpses. It would be true to say that by choosing this particular sausage the fly did indicate it was a high meat content sausage. There will be sausages around that no self- respecting Lucilia would dream of laying eggs on, due to fact they contain little or no meat.
So all in all Lucilia are right little charmers, the only one that will not give you a problem is bufonivora (that is unless you have a clammy green skin!) The rest of them are best denied access to the kitchen unless of course you enjoy their company.
Del Smith RIP
This blog represents everything that was great about Del. Wit, scientific expertise and quiet confidence.