What colour are bluebottles?

ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu
Mon Jun 6 08:38:13 EST 1994

In Article <Cqs3A1.1wA at cix.compulink.co.uk>
colinc at cix.compulink.co.uk ("Colin Cracknell") writes:
>As a child I used to wonder why big fat flies were known as bluebottles, 
>when they were black. As time went on, I saw occasional blue ones, but 
>almost all seemed to be black.
> (stuff deleted)
>I can think of several possible explanations for this. The obvious one is 
>that I've made a mistake in identification; that the blue specimens are 
>Calliphora vomitoria and the black ones are something similar. Possible, 
>but I doubt it. The plate in Colyer & Hammond's "Flies of the British 
>Isles" has only the faintest touch of blue.
>My current working hypothesis is that the colour is in some way 
>temperature-dependent.   (more stuff deleted)
>Am I talking rubbish? Has any serious work been done on this? What is the 
>metallic pigment in Calliphoridae anyway?

I have'nt got a clue, but I hope some folks who do will begin posting
some interesting discussion on this. I'm quite tired of "Voices", lets
move on to biology!

CT Faulkner, Univ of TN 
(ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu)

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