Flesh flies Sarcophaga carnaria, photographed by Soebe.

Belongs within: Oestroidea.

Sarcophaga is a genus of generally large flies whose larvae are carrion-feeders or predatory. Circumscription of this genus relative to others in the Sarcophagidae has been subject to some change, and remains uncertain. Most species feed as larvae on dead flesh, but some may facultatively attack living vertebrates (entering through necrotic wounds, for instance) and some have been reared from live invertebrate hosts (Askew 1971).

Characters (from Pape & Dahlem 2010): Male without proclinate orbital bristles. Prosternum not greatly widened anteriorly. Vein R1 without setae dorsally; postalar wall setose on middle. Midtibia with one or more anterodorsal bristles; apical posteroventral bristle of hind tibia well differentiated, subequal in size to apical anteroventral bristle. Male midfemur without apical posteroventral ctenidium, stout bristles sometimes present but usually pointed and not so closely set; cerci with posterior profile in lateral view straight or nearly so on basal two-thirds, curved evenly forward distally, and spinelike setae, if present, directed dorsally, anterodorsally or anteriorly (cerci vertical); tergite 6 of female almost invariably incised or divided on midline, entire in species with longitudinal clear streak without microtrichia in cell cu1, or in some species with ventral setulae on costal sector 3 (between tips of Sc and R1); sternites 7-8 not fused, if so, sternite 8 divided, latter commonly in form of narrow transverse strip, sometimes membranous.

Sarcophaga [Sarcophaginae]
    |--S. agnata A71
    |--S. albiceps A71
    |--S. aldrichi M90
    |--S. barbata A71
    |--S. bullata WT11
    |--S. carnaria A71
    |--S. clathrata A71
    |--S. depressa (Desvoidy 1830) [=Myophora depressa] L59
    |--S. destructor A71
    |--S. filia A71
    |--S. flavifemorata Macquart 1850 L59
    |--S. guerula T90
    |--S. haemorrhoidalis A71
    |--S. inscisilobata A71
    |--S. kellyi A71
    |--S. melanura A71
    |--S. scoparia A71
    |--S. setipennis A71
    `--S. tuberosa A71

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[L59] Lopes, H. de S. 1959. A revision of Australian Sarcophagidae (Diptera). Studia Ent. 2 (1-4): 33-67.

[M90] McAlpine, J. F. 1990. Insecta: Diptera adults. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1211-1252. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

Pape, T., & G. A. Dahlem. 2010. Sarcophagidae (flesh flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado. Manual of Central American Diptera, vol. 2, pp. 1313-1335. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[T90] Teskey, H. J. 1990. Insecta: Diptera larvae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1253-1276. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[WT11] Wiegmann, B. M., M. D. Trautwein, I. S. Winkler, N. B. Barr, J.-W. Kim, C. Lambkin, M. A. Bertone, B. K. Cassel, K. M. Bayless, A. M. Heimberg, B. M. Wheeler, K. J. Peterson, T. Pape, B. J. Sinclair, J. H. Skevington, V. Blagoderov, J. Caravas, S. N. Kutty, U. Schmidt-Ott, G. E. Kampmeier, F. C. Thompson, D. A. Grimaldi, A. T. Beckenbach, G. W. Courtney, M. Friedrich, R. Meier & D. K. Yeates. 2011. Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108 (14): 5690-5695.

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