Nature's Place

A Mother Fly





She was a beauty, about ¾ inch long, lovely colour and undamaged by her eventful life, no dents in her eyes or broken hairs on her face. In fact she was the picture of health, as I know a fly can be.

This huge fly found its way into the laundry the other day. It was on the window glass and I couldn’t induce it to have some honey and slow down. It had other things on its consciousness, demanding its attention.

I followed it around for a while trying to get a decent shot of it, even moving. Eventually I decided to trap it in glass and that worked. After a few minutes under the glass it stopped still, so I lifted the glass and it remained calm. It climbed up the side of the glass and sat there for a while.

After a short time it tried to fly away and fell to the window sill, buzzing around on its back, wings beating loudly against the surface. I remember big flies doing this from when I was younger, much so.

I noticed its behind was white and I took shots of what was presented to me. When I looked on the LCD I could see tiny grubs and it clicked. It was a she and she was giving birth.

There were many, maybe 100, of these grubs scattered around the buzzing mother. It appears the fly goes a little manic with the readiness of birth which causes her to scatter her young. That would be better than to leave them all in one place, a ready meal ensuring an end to her line, not very evolutionary that.

Then, a little time later, she died.

And that’s the way of it here.


Unless you know purpose and can live it.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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4 Responses

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  1. Laura said, on 16/10/2009 at 6:35 am

    Are you sure? Wake me in the middle of the night and I tell you that flies lie eggs on things, not give birth.

    Here, googled this: “L. sericata begin their life cycle by laying a mass of eggs in a wounded area, a carcass or corpse, or in necrotic or decaying tissue.” (from wiki: )

    So most probably what you’ve captured here is some parasites and probably the cause of death?
    Possibly something’s just hatched inside of this fly?

    • Mark said, on 16/10/2009 at 9:06 am

      No, I’m not sure. Whatever it was it didn’t survive in the dry landscape. I left the dead fly on the window sill and visited it daily for a while and if it was parasites it chose a poor host, or just didn’t make it to the next stage of life, nothing further emerged – that I know of. She gave birth, though perhaps not to her own.

  2. karlhenry said, on 11/09/2009 at 11:34 pm

    Wow! Amazing photo’s. The second and third in particular are my favourites.

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