New Zealand blue blowfly

REDUCED NZ-Ento-Soc-Insect-Playing-Cards_Blue-blowflyCommon name: New Zealand blue blowfly

Scientific name: Calliphora quadrimaculata

Māori name: rango pango

Size: 9.5 – 15 mm long

Habitat: Ubiquitous across New Zealand, but prefers mountainous habitats

There are four species of fly in the genus Calliphora in New Zealand, of which only C. quadrimaculata is endemic while the others were introduced from Europe and Australia. The New Zealand blue blowfly is found across most of New Zealand and offshore islands, but is most commonly found in mountainous or cooler areas.

This species if the largest endemic blowfly in New Zealand, with a metallic blue colouration. Fly larvae (maggots) have been found on fly-struck sheep, but it is likely that female blowflys lay their eggs on the sheep after they are already invaded by other fly species. Also, although female flies do lay eggs in rotting carcasses, they are not reliant on this as the only food source for their larvae. Maggots have been found developing at bases of snow tussock leaves in moutain regions, in human bedding and clothing. Adult flies may play a role in pollination of various plants that have conspicuous flowers, because they are attracted to the sweet nectar for food. The whole life cycle of a New Zealand blue blowfly is quite short, from 20 – 25 days.

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