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False-colour SEM of a maggot on raw beef

False-colour SEM of a maggot on raw beef

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False-colour SEM of a maggot on raw beef

False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a maggot (2 hours old) of the greenbottle, or green blow fly, Lucilia caesar, feeding on a piece of raw beef. The greenbottle lays its eggs in places promising abundant food for the future maggots (i.e. rotting vegetation, dung piles, exposed food & corpses). The mouth end (not visible) tapers into a thin wedge with two mouth hooks to stabilise the maggot. Secreted enzymes breakdown & liquify the meat which, is then absorbed. After 2 moults (3-4 days), the maggots (larvae) pupate. Adult flies frequent unsavoury places & as a result pick up & transmit diseases to humans. Magnification: x22 at 6x4.5cm

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6461906


Food Spoilage Insecta Maggot False Coloured Green Bottle

This print showcases a false-colour scanning electron micrograph of a two-hour-old maggot belonging to the greenbottle, or green blow fly species, Lucilia caesar. The maggot is seen feasting on a piece of raw beef, highlighting its natural feeding behavior. The image reveals intricate details of the maggot's body structure and features. Although the mouth end is not visible in this shot, it tapers into a thin wedge equipped with two mouth hooks that provide stability for the maggot during feeding. Fascinatingly, secreted enzymes are responsible for breaking down and liquefying the meat before absorption. As time progresses, these maggots will undergo two moults over 3-4 days and eventually pupate into larvae. However, their adult counterparts continue to frequent unsavory places such as rotting vegetation, dung piles, exposed food sources, and even corpses. Unfortunately, this behavior puts them at risk of picking up diseases which they can transmit to humans. Captured at x22 magnification on a 6x4.5cm scale by Science Photo Library's talented photographers specializing in nature and wildlife photography; this image provides an extraordinary glimpse into the world of insects' vital role in decomposition processes while shedding light on potential health risks associated with certain species like Lucilia caesar.

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