TGIF: Thank God its Flyday!
Is this not a gorgeous animal, what with its’ bright red eyes highlighted against a grey background? And the pinstriped thorax adds a dapper touch doesn’t it? It’s a flesh fly, Sarcophaga sp.
These are the flies that I was really thinking about when I instituted my Flyday series. I would really liked to have uploaded photos like these for my very first Flyday blog, but I didn’t have any images that I hadn’t already posted. I photographed this specimen on the same day that I shot last week’s Flyday subject (see Flyday July 19, 2013: the greenbottle, now that’s a fly!). Flesh flies, as you might have already surmised, are carrion flies: attracted to dead things on which to feed and/or deposit their maggots. Apparently flesh flies don’t lay eggs like most other flies. Flesh flies are ovoviviparous: the female retains the fertilized eggs inside the body until they are ready to hatch.
I attracted this specimen (same as the greenbottle I featured last Flyday) by putting the remains of a sockeye salmon out on my deck. These flies aren’t too skittish (at least not when they are feasting on some fine BC sockeye), so photography was straightforward. The Zuiko 60mm macro lens I am using provided plenty of working distance. One nice thing about these flies is that they are not shiny. That plus their grey background colour makes lighting them easy.
Part of me wishes that flies like this were the size of canaries. Then people would better appreciate how attractive they are. They’d probably make good pets too. Just imagine a birdcage hanging in your kitchen, with your favourite flesh fly sitting on its perch buzzing contentedly. It would be just like having a purring cat in your lap! Well, except for having to feed it dead things. And then there are the maggots….
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 power)