The Chrysomya saffranea is the sister species of Chrysomya megacephala, both being a metallic greenish-blue in colour. Sometimes commonly called the Steelblue Bluebottle, they are often mistaken for each other. The species are a primary invader of carrion, although they have been recorded in the southern areas of its distribution, to more likely behave as a secondary fly (O’Flynn and Moorhouse 1979)1.

Whilst the blowfly species Chrysomya saffranea look similar to the C. megacephala, it is recognized by the absence of black setulae hair around its vibrissa. The male has enlarged eye facets above, with no distinct line of demarcation from those below.

Steelblue Bluebottle (Chrysomya saffranea)
Steelblue Bluebottle (Chrysomya saffranea), Alice Springs, NT

In their six week lifespan, the adult fly feeds on a range of things including decaying matter, excreta (faeces), and nectar from flowers.

Steelblue Bluebottle (Chrysomya saffranea)
Steelblue Bluebottle (Chrysomya saffranea), Alice Springs, NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Diptera
  • Division zoology: Cyclorrhapha
  • Informal: Calyptratae
  • Superfamily: Oestroidea
  • Family: Calliphoridae
  • Subfamily: Chrysomyinae
  • Genus: Chrysomya
  • Species: Chrysomya saffranea

Footnote & References

  1. Chrysomya saffranea, Carrion Flies of Australia, Kavazos C. R. J., Meiklejohn K. A., Archer M. S. and Wallman J. F., https://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/Carrion_flies_of_Australia/Chrysomya_saffranea.htm
  2. Steelblue Bluebottle – Chrysomya saffranea, Brisbane Insects and Spiders, https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_muscoid/Bluebottle.htm
  3. Chrysomya, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysomya (last visited Feb. 12, 2022)