Decomposition - what happens to the body after Death?

Corpse Fauna

Green Hairy Maggot Blowfly Chrysomya rufifacies

A female Green hairy maggot blowfly
A female Green Hairy Maggot Blowfly Chrysomya rufifacies, ready to lay eggs. Photo: R. Major

Chrysomia rufifacies is a large, metallic green blowfly whose larvae are predaceous, feeding on the larvae of earlier-arriving flies. Adult females do not lay their eggs in a corpse until the body is partially decomposed and maggots are available as prey. The larvae of C. rufifacies have tough spiny skin, which gives them protection against other predators. The larvae pupate on the surface, rather than burrowing into the soil, and they are particularly vulnerable to parasitism by wasps.

Further information

australian museum online
about the museum
research and collections