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Calliphora vicina

Calliphora vicina

Blow flies, in the family Calliphoridae, such as the Calliphora vicina adult shown here, are active decomposers and thus important to forensic entomology investigations, as they will find and lay eggs on a corpse in short order. Identifying the species of blow flies present is a critical step in such investigations, but it typically requires rearing collected fly larvae to adults first. However, a new “real time” method for conducting mass spectrometry could allow maggot specimens to be analyzed and identified in a matter of minutes—even up to six species at a time from the same sample. (Photo by Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org)

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