Sarcophaga crassipalpis, copyright Lazaro A. Diaz.

Belongs within: Sarcophagini.
Contains: Sarcophaga (Heteronychia), Sarcophaga (Liosarcophaga), Sarcophaga (Sarcosolomonia), Sarcophaga (Sarcorohdendorfia).

Sarcophaga is a cosmopolitan genus of generally large flies. Circumscription of this genus relative to others in the Sarcophagidae has been subject to some change with authors differing on whether various sarcophagid taxa should be treated as subgenera of Sarcophaga or as separate genera. The phylogenetic analysis of calyptrate flies by Kutty et al. (2010) suggested the possibility of a basal divide between Old and New World species but more extensive analysis of the genus would be required to determine whether this suggestion holds true.

Most species of Sarcophaga feed as larvae on dead flesh, but some may facultatively attack living vertebrates (entering through necrotic wounds, for instance) and some have been reared from live invertebrate hosts (Askew 1971). One such North American species S. aldrichi, a parasitoid of the forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria, is known as the ‘friendly fly’ due to its habit of settling on people and moving only reluctantly, though they do not bite. The common flesh fly S. carnaria of southern Europe has larvae that primarily feed on earthworms.

Among the numerous subgenera of Sarcophaga, species of Heteronychia and Parasarcophaga have three pairs of dorsocentral bristles whereas four are present in other subgenera (Fan 1992).

Characters (from Pape & Dahlem 2010): Male without proclinate orbital bristles. Prosternum not greatly widened anteriorly. Vein R1 without setae dorsally; postalar wall setose on middle. Midtibia with one or more anterodorsal bristles; apical posteroventral bristle of hind tibia well differentiated, subequal in size to apical anteroventral bristle. Male midfemur without apical posteroventral ctenidium, stout bristles sometimes present but usually pointed and not so closely set; cerci with posterior profile in lateral view straight or nearly so on basal two-thirds, curved evenly forward distally, and spinelike setae, if present, directed dorsally, anterodorsally or anteriorly (cerci vertical); tergite 6 of female almost invariably incised or divided on midline, entire in species with longitudinal clear streak without microtrichia in cell cu1, or in some species with ventral setulae on costal sector 3 (between tips of Sc and R1); sternites 7-8 not fused, if so, sternite 8 divided, latter commonly in form of narrow transverse strip, sometimes membranous.

<==Sarcophaga Meigen 1826 [Sarcophagina]F92
    |--+--S. arizonicaKP10
    |  `--S. triplasia Wulp 1896KP10
    `--+--+--S. (Australopierretia) australis (Johnston & Tiegs 1921)MD13, KP10 (see below for synonymy)
       |  `--+--S. marshalli Parker 1923KP10
       |     `--+--S. fertoni Villeneuve 1911KP10
       |        `--S. (Sarcorohdendorfia)KP10
       `--+--+--S. forma Blackith & Pape 1999KP10
          |  `--S. setinervis Rondani 1860KP10
          `--S. (Liopygia)MD13 [incl. Jantia Rohdendorf 1937S87, Thomsonea Rohdendorf 1937S87]
               |--‘Parasarcophaga (Thomsonea) argyrostomaL59
               |--S. (L.) crassipalpis Macquart 1839MD13, KP10 (see below for synonymy)
               `--S. (L.) ruficornis (Fabricius 1794)MD13 [=Musca ruficornisMD13, Parasarcophaga (L.) ruficornisF92]
Sarcophaga incertae sedis:
  S. agnataA71
  S. aldrichi [=Arachnidomyia aldrichi]PD10
  S. barbataA71
  S. bullataWT11
  S. caridei Brèthes 1906B06
  S. depressa (Desvoidy 1830) [=Myophora depressa]L59
  S. derelictaE66
  S. destructorA71
  S. effrenataE66
  S. filiaA71
  S. flavifemorata Macquart 1850L59
  S. flavifronsBM76
  S. guerulaT90
  S. houghiH38
  S. inscisilobataA71
  S. johnsoni [=Wohlfartiopsis johnsoni]PD10
  S. kellyiA71
  S. lambensB06
  S. lherminieriE66
  S. montanensis Hallock 1938H38
  S. polistensisPD10
  S. querulaE66
  S. rapaxE66
  S. socrusK01
  S. setipennisA71
  S. uncataB06
  S. variegata (Scopoli 1763) [=Musca variegata]F92
  S. ventricosaE66
  *S. (Sarcophaga) carnaria (Linnaeus 1758) [=Musca carnaria]F92
  ‘Parasarcophaga’ (Apicamplexa Fan & Qian in Fan 1992)F92
    |--P. (*A.) emdeni Rohdendorf 1969 (see below for synonymy)F92
    `--P. (A.) kirgizica Rohdendorf 1969F92
  S. (Baranovisca)MD13
    |--S. (B.) arachnivora (Lopes 1985) [=Baranovisca arachnivora]MD13
    |--S. (B.) cyrtophorae (Cantrell 1986) [=Parasarcophaga cyrtophorae]MD13
    `--S. (B.) reposita (Lopes 1959)MD13 [=Parasarcophaga (Rosellea) repositaL59]
  S. (Bercaea Robineau-Desvoidy 1863)MD13, F92 [incl. Coprosarcophaga Rohdendorf 1937F92]
    |--S. (B.) cruentata Meigen 1826F92 (see below for synonymy)
    `--S. (B.) africa (Wiedemann 1824) [=Musca africa]MD13
  S. (Boettcherisca Rohdendorf 1937)MD13, L59 [BoettcheriscinaF92]
    |--S. (*B.) peregrina (Robineau-Desvoidy 1830)MD13, L59, MD13 (see below for synonymy)
    |--‘Boettcherisca’ formosensis Kirner & Lopes 1961 [incl. B. chianshanensis Ma 1964]F92
    |--‘Boettcherisca’ karnyi (Hardy 1927)F92
    `--‘Boettcherisca’ septentrionalis Rohdendorf 1937 [=B. (Notochaetomima) septentrionalis]F92
  S. (Curranea)F92
    |--‘Parasarcophaga’ (C.) hinglungensis Fan 1964F92
    |--S. (C.) iwuensis Ho 1934 [=Parasarcophaga (C.) iwuensis]F92
    |--S. (C.) scopariiformis Senior-White 1927 (see below for synonymy)F92
    `--‘Parasarcophaga’ (C.) yunnanensis Fan 1964F92
  S. (Fergusonimyia Lopes 1958)MD13, L59
    `--S. (*F.) bancroftorum Johnston & Tiegs 1921MD13, L59 (see below for synonymy)
  S. (Hardyella Lopes 1959)MD13, L59
    `--S. (*H.) littoralis Johnston & Tiegs 1922MD13, L59 [incl. S. ogalloyi Salen 1945L59, S. ogilvyi Salem 1946MD13]
  S. (Heteronychia)MD13
  ‘Parasarcophaga’ (Jantiella) doleschalli Johnston & Tiegs 1921 (see below for synonymy)F92
  S. (Johnstonimyia Lopes 1959)MD13, L59
    |--S. (*J.) kappa Johnston & Tiegs 1921L59 [incl. S. illingworthi Parker 1922MD13]
    |--‘Johnstonimyia’ imitatrix Lopes 1959L59
    `--S. (J.) lincta Lopes 1959MD13
  S. (Kanoisca) kanoi (Park 1962) [=Parasarcophaga (K.) kanoi]F92
  S. (Lioproctia)MD13
    |--S. (L.) alcicornis Hardy 1932MD13
    |--S. (L.) imita Pape 1996 [=Johnstonimyia imitatrix Lopes 1959 (preoc.)]MD13
    |--S. (L.) multicolor Johnston & Tiegs 1922 [=Johnstonimyia multicolor]MD13
    |--S. (L.) spinifera Hardy 1932MD13 [=Johnstonimyia spiniferaL59]
    `--S. (L.) torvida (Lopes 1959) [=Johnstonimyia torvida]MD13
  S. (Liosarcophaga)MD13
  S. (Pandelleisca)F92
    |--S. (P.) kawayuensis Kano 1950 [=Parasarcophaga (P.) kawayuensis]F92
    |--S. (P.) pingi Ho 1934 [=Parasarcophaga (P.) pingi]F92
    |--‘Parasarcophaga’ (P.) polystylata (Ho 1934)F92
    `--S. (P.) similis Meade 1876 [=‘Parasarcophaga (P.) similis]F92
  S. (Parasarcophaga Johnston & Tiegs 1921)MD13, L59 [ParasarcophaginaF92]
    |--S. (P.) taenionota (Wiedemann 1819)MD13 (see below for synonymy)
    |--S. (P.) albiceps Meigen 1826MD13
    |--S. (P.) macroauriculata Ho 1932F92
    |--S. (P.) misera Walker 1849MD13 (see below for synonymy)
    |--S. (P.) sericea Walker 1852F92 [incl. S. knabi Parker 1917F92, Parasarcophaga knabiCM74]
    `--‘Parasarcophaga’ (P.) unguitigris Rohdendorf 1938F92
  S. (Poseidonimyia) simplex (Lopes 1967) [=Heteronychia simplex]MD13
  S. (Rosellea Rohdendorf 1937)L59
    |--S. (*R.) aratrix Pandellé 1896 [=Parasarcophaga (*R.) aratrix]L59
    |--S. (R.) gigas Thomas 1949 [=Parasarcophaga (R.) gigas; incl. S. koreaensis Park & Kano 1961]F92
    |--S. (R.) khasiensis Senior-White 1924 [=Parasarcophaga (R.) khasiensis]F92
    `--‘Parasarcophaga’ (R.) praelibera Lopes 1959L59
  S. (Sarcosolomonia)MD13
  S. (Taylorimyia Lopes 1959)MD13, L59
    `--S. (T.) aurifrons Macquart 1846MD13 (see below for synonymy)
  S. (Varirosellea) uliginosa Kramer 1908F92 [=Parasarcophaga (Rosellea) uliginosaL59]
  S. (Ziminisca) semenovi Rohdendorf 1925 [=Parasarcophaga (Z.) semenovi; incl. S. linearis Vill. 1935]F92

‘Parasarcophaga’ (*Apicamplexa) emdeni Rohdendorf 1969 [=P. (Liosarcophaga) teretirostris Rohdendorf 1937 non Pandellé 1896]F92

‘Parasarcophaga’ (Jantiella) doleschalli Johnston & Tiegs 1921 [incl. Robineauella (J.) coei Rohdendorf 1966, P. coei]F92

Sarcophaga (Australopierretia) australis (Johnston & Tiegs 1921)MD13, KP10 [=Helicobia australisMD13, Heteronychia australisL59, Pierretia australisL59]

Sarcophaga (Bercaea) cruentata Meigen 1826F92 [incl. Musca haemorrhoidalis Fallén 1817 non Villers 1789F92, *Bercaea haemorrhoidalisF92, Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalisA71]

Sarcophaga (*Boettcherisca) peregrina (Robineau-Desvoidy 1830)MD13, L59, MD13 [=Myophora peregrinaMD13; incl. S. fuscicauda Bottcher 1912F92]

Sarcophaga (Curranea) scopariiformis Senior-White 1927 [=Parasarcophaga (C.) scopariiformis; incl. S. pingiana Hsieh 1958]F92

Sarcophaga (*Fergusonimyia) bancroftorum Johnston & Tiegs 1921MD13, L59 [=Sarcophaga bancroftiMD13; incl. S. horti Blackith & Blackith 1988MD13]

Sarcophaga (Liopygia) crassipalpis Macquart 1839MD13, KP10 [=Parasarcophaga (Jantia) crassipalpisL59; incl. S. dalmatina Schiner 1862L59, S. securifera Villeneuve in Becker 1908L59, Bellieria securiferaL59, Parasarcophaga (Jantia) securiferaL59]

Sarcophaga (Parasarcophaga) misera Walker 1849MD13 [=Parasarcophaga (Liosarcophaga) miseraL59; incl. S. brunneopalpis Johnston & Tiegs 1922MD13, S. ceylonensis Curran 1929L59, S. gamma Johnston & Tiegs 1921MD13, S. noumea Curran 1929L59, S. orchidea Boettcher 1913F92, S. hirtypes orchideaL59, S. (Parasarcophaga) orchideaL59, S. subtuberosa Parker 1917L59]

Sarcophaga (Parasarcophaga) taenionota (Wiedemann 1819)MD13 [=Musca taenionotaMD13; incl. S. (*P.) omega Johnston & Tiegs 1921L59, MD13]

Sarcophaga (Taylorimyia) aurifrons Macquart 1846MD13 [=Parasarcophaga (Liosarcophaga) aurifronsL59; incl. S. iota Johnston & Tiegs 1921MD13, S. (*Taylorimyia) iotaL59, Myophora musca Desvoidy 1830 (n. d.)L59]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[BM76] Bohart, R. M., & A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[B06] Brèthes, J. 1906. Sarcophaga caridei, una nueva mosca langosticida. Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 297–301.

[CM74] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1974. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Supplement 1974 pp. 91–96. Melbourne University Press.

[E66] Evans, H. E. 1966. The Comparative Ethology and Evolution of the Sand Wasps. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[F92] Fan Z. 1992. Key to the Common Flies of China 2nd ed. Science Press: Beijing.

[H38] Hallock, H. C. 1938. New Sarcophaginae (Diptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 40 (4): 95–99.

[K01] Kertész, K. 1901. Legyek [Dipteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 179–201. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[KP10] Kutty, S. N., T. Pape, B. M. Wiegmann & R. Meier. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of the Calyptratae (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha) with an emphasis on the superfamily Oestroidea and the position of Mystacinobiidae and McAlpine’s fly. Systematic Entomology 35: 614–635.

[L59] Lopes, H. de S. 1959. A revision of Australian Sarcophagidae (Diptera). Studia Ent. 2 (1–4): 33–67.

[MD13] Meiklejohn, K. A., M. Dowton, T. Pape & J. F. Wallman. 2013. A key to the Australian Sarcophagidae (Diptera) with special emphasis on Sarcophaga (sensu lato). Zootaxa 3680 (1): 148–189.

[PD10] Pape, T., & G. A. Dahlem. 2010. Sarcophagidae (flesh flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1313–1335. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[S87] Shewell, G. E. 1987. Sarcophagidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1159–1186. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[T90] Teskey, H. J. 1990. Insecta: Diptera larvae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1253–1276. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[WT11] Wiegmann, B. M., M. D. Trautwein, I. S. Winkler, N. B. Barr, J.-W. Kim, C. Lambkin, M. A. Bertone, B. K. Cassel, K. M. Bayless, A. M. Heimberg, B. M. Wheeler, K. J. Peterson, T. Pape, B. J. Sinclair, J. H. Skevington, V. Blagoderov, J. Caravas, S. N. Kutty, U. Schmidt-Ott, G. E. Kampmeier, F. C. Thompson, D. A. Grimaldi, A. T. Beckenbach, G. W. Courtney, M. Friedrich, R. Meier & D. K. Yeates. 2011. Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108 (14): 5690–5695.

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