Sarcophaga crassipalpis

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Sarcophaga crassipalpis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Sarcophagidae
Genus: Sarcophaga
Species: S. crassipalpis
Binomial name
Sarcophaga crassipalpis
Macquart, 1839[1]

The flesh fly Sarcophaga crassipalpis is a common laboratory animal used in the study of gene expression and the study of diapause in insects.[2]

Sarcophaga crassipalpis conforms to the basic bilateral symmetry body plan for arthropods and insects by possessing jointed-appendages, a sclerotized external cuticle, and an internal muscular system that functions as levers for movement.[3] The six legs possess a tarsus, or foot, with a pair of claws for gripping rough surfaces. Beneath the claws is a fleshy, glandular adhesive pad called a pulvillus, which is used on smooth surfaces.[4]

Sarcophaga crassipalpis is an insect in the order Diptera, meaning “two-winged”. As with other flies, S. crassipalpis has one pair of wings used for flying. Posterior to the wings is a small pair of knob-like structures (called halteres), which function as organs of balance.[5]

Like other dipterans, S. crassipalpis reproduces utilizing complete metamorphosis, i.e. the life cycle consists of the following stages: egg, larva (called a maggot), pupa, and adult.

Most notably, S. crassipalpis will enter diapause under very specific environmental stimuli. Photoperiod exposure received by embryos in the uterus is one factor in initiating diapause.[6] It is sensitive to specific environmental stimuli in its early larval stage and then enters diapause as a pupa. Sarcophaga crassipalpis enters an overwintering pupal diapause in response to cues of a short day-length received during late embryonic and early larval life.[7] Diapause in S. crassipalpis is not a complete cessation of gene expression. It is a separate developmental pathway that is expressed by another set of genes.[2] It lays its eggs in open flesh wounds, typically the wounds of livestock.[8] Pesticides have been designed to interfere with the normal development, killing only larva.[9]


  1. ^ "Sarcophaga crassipalpis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ a b Roland F. Flannagan, Steven P. Tammariello, Karl H. Joplin, Rebecca A. Cikra-Ireland, George D. Yokum & David L. Denlinger (1998). "Diapause-specific gene expression in pupae of the flesh fly Sarcophaga crassipalpis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 95 (10): 5616–5620. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.10.5616. 
  3. ^ James W. Valentine (2004). On the origin of phyla. University of Chicago Press. p. 614. ISBN 0-226-84548-6. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Fly Control in livestock and Poultry, 12/27/2009
  6. ^ Induction and Termination of Pupal Diapause in Sarcophaga (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) David L. Denlinger Biological Bulletin, Vol. 142, No. 1 (Feb., 1972), pp. 11-24 (article consists of 14 pages) Published by: Marine Biological Laboratory
  7. ^ R. F. Chapman (1998). The Insects; Structure and Function, 4th Edition. Cambridge University Press. p. 404. ISBN 0-521-57048-4. 
  8. ^ "Total recoil: Survival of the primmest". BBC. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  9. ^

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