Carrionfly

Avg. Length: 3 cm/1.2" (adult female)
Avg. Weight: 10g/0.35 oz.

Habitat: swamps, marshes, dense moist forests
Diet: scavenger or parasite


Carrionflies (Clavodentis sp., most prominently Clavodentis bustuarius) are large, winged insects resembling stocky mosquitoes covered in spiky filaments. Ordinarily they are a nondescript gray color, with nearly transparent wings veined in white or tan; however, the abdomens of gravid females swell to twice their ordinary size, growing pale and translucent as they do so.

Males are small, short-lived, and harmless: hatched without functioning mouthparts, they live only long enough to find and fertilize a female. Females are larger and far more conspicuous, producing a distinctive saw-like buzz. Their main predators are birds, dragonflies, and a few species of wasp.

The larvae of most carrionfly species inhabit fresh corpses, growing fat on their juices before crawling out to pupate; however, a few breeds infect living creatures. In these, the female of the species lays her eggs under the skin of a warm-blooded animal; the larvae hatch within a few hours, migrating through the interstitial spaces of their host before lodging in the blood-rich walls of the lungs and digestive tract. There they stay for several days; once ready to enter the next stage of their life cycle, they pierce the membrane and are eventually expelled from the body in a fit of coughing or vomiting or with bloody stool. They pupate in shallow burrows near where they land, and the cycle begins anew.

The early stages of carrionfly infestation are usually asymptomatic or marked only by a slight itching. Once an infestation is established, nausea, abdominal pain, and sensations of movement within the bowels are typical; late-stage infestations progress to severe abdominal pain accompanied by bloody coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Living larvae can sometimes be seen within the fluids produced.

General Flora and Fauna

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License