Greenbottles (Lucilia sericata) are easily my favourite fly. These critters are so gorgeous with their iridescent coppery-green bodies and red eyes set against a white face. And all those black hairs (setae) make them even more interesting. They are big (for a fly), bold and beautiful. The other species of flies I have featured on Flydays have been nice, but pale in comparison to greenbottles!
Is it weird that I have a favourite fly?
Greenbottles are blow flies—feeding and laying their eggs on dung and carrion. The handy thing about blow flies is that it is easy to get them to come to you to be photographed. I attracted this specimen (and a number of other species) by putting the remains of a sockeye salmon out on my deck. I’d filleted the fish for dinner and kept the skeleton specifically to attract some flies. It didn’t take long for hungry flies to start showing up.
At one point, as I was photographing this greenbottle another smaller and less colourful species of fly (Musca sp. probably) wandered into the frame. I caught myself thinking “that’s not a fly” [shifting my attention back to the greenbottle] “now that’s a fly!” And that made me laugh out loud because it reminded me of the knife scene from the absurd 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee. There I was, on my back deck, laughing to myself while photographing flies attracted to a dead salmon. I sometimes wonder what my neighbours think about me…
In case you aren’t familiar with the movie Crocodile Dundee, I’m including a bonus video clip below. I recommend pausing at 0.50 of the clip.
And now back to greenbottles…here are a couple more photos of this beautiful fly.
The technical stuff:
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Lens: Zuiko 60mm micro four thirds macro
Settings: manual exposure (F11 @ 1/200 sec)
Lighting: Olympus RF-11 ring flash (1/4-1/2 power)