Trivia question for Aug-03-2011

Posted on Aug 3, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia likes all living creatures so it is no wonder she would pick this particular insect for her trivia.  These insects comprise a large family of flies, including familiar bluebottles and greenbottles.  They spread diseases, but also provide an essential ecological service by devouring organic waste.

Adults of these flies are occasional pollinators, being attracted to flowers with a strong odor resembling rotting meat, such as the American pawpaw or Dead Horse Arum. There is little doubt that these flies use nectar as a source of carbohydrates to fuel flight, but just how and when this happens is unknown. One study has been done to prove that the visual stimulus they receive from its compound eyes is what is responsible for causing its legs to extend from their flight position and allow it to land on any surface.

So here are Olivia’s questions:  Tell us what these flies are called and from which old English word they get their name from?  Also, surgeons during World War 1 bred the maggots for one particular reason.  Tell us what that was?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Estefanía (Stephanie) from Nicaragua for being the first with the correct answer.  The fly we featured yesterday is the Blow-Fly.  Calliphoridae are commonly known as blow-flies, carrion flies, bluebottles, greenbottles, or cluster flies. The name blow-fly comes from an older English term for meat that had eggs laid on it, which was said to be fly blown. The first known association of the term “blow” with flies appears in the plays of William Shakespeare: Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra.

During WWI, surgeons breed the maggots and placed them in the wounds of soldiers to keep them clean.  The maggots saliva, which includes the chemical allantoin, helped spread healing.  Here is more on these guys: Blow-Fly

Thanks for playing along 😉