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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

21 March, 2016

Bluebottle: it makes you sick

My daily nature note series tries to look at all aspects of nature in Dorset and I do not pick and chose what to include based on how beautiful or 'nice' a species is! The bluebottle (Calliphora vomitoria), like the rat, must be amongst the most despised, even hated, species. Their link with spreading disease is the obvious reason for this; vomitoria says it all really! The females are attracted to fish and meat for egg laying and houses are a pretty good place to find such things. They also lay on carrion outside of houses too of course.
Despite their bad reputation these days with modern refrigerators and food storage systems they are not really a significant problem but, nonetheless, they can be irritating as they buzz around your kitchen window trying to get out before you swat them! They are called bluebottles, of course, because of the amazing metallic blue colouring which is best seen in sunshine as they bask on shrub leaves in the garden.
They are around most of the year, whenever the weather is mild. There are several very similar species of bluebottle and I cannot be absolutely certain that this is Calliphora vomitoria but, as that is by far the most common, it probably is.
Bluebottle: it makes you sick