"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

August 21, 2010

August 21 - Lucilia silvarum

Lucilia silvarum is a species of blowfly that has been found across much of the northern hemisphere. Females need to lay their eggs in a moist, nutrient-rich place and while this sometimes is a pile of animal feces, they also seem to have a fondness for the backs of frogs and toads. The eggs hatch and the larvae bury into the skin of the frogs and consume tissue. This is very often fatal for the frogs, though some species seem to have evolved an ability to survive these nasty infections. But, frogs and feces are not the only spots a female L. silvarum will lay her eggs -they will also use corpses and, because their development timing is so well known, can be helpful for forensic investigations.

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