A maggot is the larva of a fly (order Diptera); it is applied in particular to the larvae of Brachycera flies, such as houseflies, cheese flies, and blowflies,[1] rather than larvae of the Nematocera, such as mosquitoes and Crane flies. A 2012 study estimated the population of maggots in North America alone to be in excess of 3×105 trillion.[2]

Decomposing possum
Maggots feeding on an opossum carrion
Maggots on a porcupine carcass


"Maggot" is not a technical term and should not be taken as such; in many standard textbooks of entomology it does not appear in the index at all.[3][4] In many non-technical texts the term is used for insect larvae in general. Other sources have coined their own definitions; for example: "The term applies to a grub when all trace of limbs has disappeared"[5] and "Applied to the footless larvae of Diptera".[6]

Maggot-like fly larvae are of wide importance in ecology and medicine; among other roles, various species are prominent in recycling carrion and garbage, attacking crops and foodstuffs, spreading microbial infections, and causing myiasis.



Anglers use maggots usually provided by commercial suppliers to catch non-predatory fish. Maggots are the most popular bait for anglers in Europe. Anglers throw handfuls into the "swim" they are targeting, attracting the fish to the area. The angler then use the largest or most attractive maggots on the hook, hoping to be irresistible to the fish. Commercial maggot breeders from the UK sell their maggots to tackle dealers throughout the E.U. and North America.

In North America, maggots have been used primarily as ice fishing bait; recently, however, anglers have started using them year-round.

Medical treatment

Live maggots of certain species of flies have been used since antiquity for wound debridement. (Use of the wrong species would invite pathological myiasis.[7]) In controlled and sterile settings overseen by medical practitioners, maggot therapy introduces live, disinfected maggots into non-healing skin or soft wounds of a human or animal. The only maggots cleared for marketing in the United States are larvae of Calliphorid flies of the species Phaenicia sericata (formerly known as Lucilia sericata).[8] This species of maggots is most widely used in the world as well but it is unclear whether it is the only species cleared for marketing outside of the United States. They feed on the dead or necrotic tissue, leaving sound tissue largely unharmed. Studies have also shown that maggots kill bacteria. There are three midgut lysozymes of P. sericata that have been shown to show antibacterial effects in maggot debridement therapy. The study demonstrated that the majority of gram-positive bacteria were destroyed in vivo within the particular section of the P. sericata midgut where lysozymes are produced. During the passage through the intestine of the maggots, the ability of bacteria to survive drastically decreased, implying the antibacterial action of the three midgut lysozymes.[9] As of 2008, maggot therapy was being used in around 1,000 medical centers in Europe and over 300 medical centers in the United States.[10]

Forensic science

The presence and development of maggots on a corpse are useful in the estimation of time elapsed since death. Depending on the species and the conditions, maggots may be observed on a body within 24 hours. The eggs are laid directly on the food source, and when the eggs hatch, the maggots move towards their preferred conditions and begin to feed. By studying the insects present at a crime scene, forensic entomologists can determine the approximate time of death. Insects are usually useful after a post-mortem interval (PMI) of approximately 25–80 hours, depending on ambient conditions. After this interval, this method becomes less reliable.


As with fleas and ticks, maggots can be a threat to household pets and livestock, especially sheep. Flies reproduce rapidly in the summer months, and maggots can come in large numbers, creating a maggot infestation and a high risk of myiasis (a maggot infestation of living tissue) in sheep and other animals. Humans are not immune to the feeding habits of maggots and can also contract myiasis. Interaction between humans and maggots usually occurs near garbage cans, dead animals, rotten food and other breeding grounds for maggots.

When maggots turn into adult flies and start the life cycle over, numbers will grow exponentially if unchecked, but disease, natural predators and parasites keep the population under control. Sealing garbage and using a garbage disposal or freezing rotting leftovers until waste collection day helps prevent infestation. Introducing an environmental control, such as Histeridae, can also help reduce maggot populations.

See also


  1. ^ "Definition of MAGGOT". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  2. ^ Wee L. Yee, Michael W. Klaus, Dong H. Cha, Charles E. Linn, Jr., Robert B. Goughnour, Jeffrey L. Feder, Henry Hagedorn (January 2012). "Abundance of apple maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella, across different areas in central Washington, with special reference to black-fruited hawthorns". Oxford Journal of Insect Science. 12 (1): 124–148.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Comstock, John Henry, An Introduction to Entomology. Comstock publishing, 1930.
  4. ^ Richards, O. W.; Davies, R. G. (1977). Imms' General Textbook of Entomology: Volume 1: Structure, Physiology and Development Volume 2: Classification and Biology. Berlin: Springer. ISBN 0-412-61390-5.
  5. ^ Jardine, N. K. The Dictionary of Entomology. 1913.
  6. ^ Smith, John. B. Explanation of terms used in entomology. Brooklyn Entomological Society, 1906.
  7. ^ James, M. T. (1947). The Flies That Cause Myiasis in Man. Washington D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
  8. ^ Sherman, R. A. (March 2009). "Maggot therapy takes us back to the future of wound care: new and improved maggot therapy for the 21st century". J. Diabetes Sci. Technol. 3 (2): 336–344.
  9. ^ Valachova, I. (2014). "Midgut lysozymes of Lucilia sericata – new antimicrobials involved in maggot debridement therapy". Ins. Mol. Biol. 23 (6): 779–787.
  10. ^ Maggot debridement therapy. DermNet NZ, 19 February 2010.

External links

Apple maggot

The apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella), also known as a railroad worm (not to be confused with the Phrixothrix beetle larvae also called that), is a pest of several fruits, mainly apples. Before the arrival in America from apples from Europe, it was found mainly in hawthorns.

The adult form of this insect is about 5 mm (0.20 in) long, slightly smaller than a housefly, with a white dot on its thorax and a characteristic black banding shaped like an "F" on its wings. When threatened, it turns its wings 90° and moves them up and down while walking sideways; the combination mimics the appearance of it being a spider due to the wing pattern in the new position appearing as additional legs. The larva, which is the stage of this insect's lifecycle that causes the actual damage to the fruit, is similar to a typical fly larva or maggot. Other "worms", especially the larvae of the codling moth, that infest the insides of apples are often confused with the apple maggot. Generally speaking, however, caterpillars often feed in the apple's core while apple maggots feed on the fruit flesh. In infested fruit, the larvae are often difficult to detect due to their pale, cream colour and small body size. The maggot stage has many enemies, including several braconid wasps: Utetes canaliculatus, Diachasmimorpha mellea, and Diachasma alloeum.

The adult stage lays its eggs inside the fruit. The young "worm" that hatches consumes the fruit (rarely will the larva leave the fruit while it is still hanging on the tree), and causes it to bruise and decay and finally drop before ripening. The insect overwinters as a pupa in the soil. It only emerges after metamorphosis into a relatively defenseless fly. It uses Batesian mimicry as a method of defense - its coloration resembles that of the fore legs and pedipalps of a jumping spider (family Salticidae). Adults emerge from late June through September, with their peak flight occurring in August.

Blue bottle fly

The bluebottle fly or bottlebee (Calliphora vomitoria) is a common blow fly belonging to the family Calliphoridae. Calliphora vomitoria is the type species for the genus Calliphora.


The Calliphoridae (commonly known as blow flies, blow-flies, carrion flies, bluebottles, greenbottles, or cluster flies) are a family of insects in the order Diptera, with 1,200 known species. The maggot larvae, often used as fishing bait, are known as gentles. The family is known to be polyphyletic, but much remains disputed regarding proper treatment of the constituent taxa, some of which are occasionally accorded family status (e.g., Bengaliidae, Helicoboscidae, Polleniidae, and Rhiniidae).

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.

Casu marzu

Casu marzu (Sardinian pronunciation: [ˈkazu ˈmaɾdzu]; literally 'rotten/putrid cheese'), also called casu modde, casu cundídu and casu fràzigu in Sardinian, is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese that contains live insect larvae (maggots). A variation of the cheese, casgiu merzu, is also produced in some Corsican villages.Derived from pecorino, casu marzu goes beyond typical fermentation to a stage of decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese's fats. The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called làgrima, Sardinian for "teardrop") seeping out. The larvae themselves appear as translucent white worms, about 8 mm (0.3 in) long.

Celebrity Big Brother (British series 4)

Celebrity Big Brother 2006, also known as Celebrity Big Brother 4, was the fourth series of the British reality television series Celebrity Big Brother. It was hosted by Davina McCall and was broadcast on Channel 4 from 5 January 2006 until 27 January 2006, running for three weeks.

Eleven housemates entered the house on Launch Night, only ten of them were being paid for their appearance, Chantelle Houghton who was the first to enter the house had actually auditioned for the sixth non-celebrity series the previous summer, but was instead selected to enter the celebrity series. Her secret mission was to pretend she was a member of girlband Kandy Floss, she convinced the others that she was a celebrity, and was ultimately allowed to stay, failure would have resulted in her departure from the house.

Controversies emerged during the run of the series, such as the participation of expelled Labour MP George Galloway, then-MP for Bethnal Green and Bow for Respect. Pete Burns, the 1980s pop star, included a coat made from gorilla fur among his possessions, the coat was removed from the house on Day 16, following complaints from viewers and housemates, it was later discovered the coat was made from colobus monkey. No charges were brought forward as it was believed the coat was imported before colobus fur became illegal in 1975.By the time of the series finale, six housemates remained in the house. This was a first in Big Brother UK history and the next non-celebrity series, Big Brother 7, also adopted this format. Houghton was voted the winner on Finale night and was awarded £25,000 for her victory.

Chantelle and fourth place finalist Preston took part in Ultimate Big Brother in 2010 and both made it to the final, with Preston finishing in sixth place and Chantelle finishing third. Jodie Marsh also returned to the house in 2012, as part of a task during Celebrity Big Brother 9.


Debridement is the medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue. Removal may be surgical, mechanical, chemical, autolytic (self-digestion), and by maggot therapy.

In oral hygiene and dentistry, debridement refers to the removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) that have accumulated on the teeth. Debridement in this case may be performed using ultrasonic instruments, which fracture the calculus, thereby facilitating its removal, as well as hand tools, including periodontal scaler and curettes, or through the use of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

In podiatry practitioners such as chiropodists, podiatrists and foot health practitioners remove conditions such as calluses and verrucas.

Debridement is an important part of the healing process for burns and other serious wounds; it is also used for treating some kinds of snake and spider bites.

Sometimes the boundaries of the problem tissue may not be clearly defined. For example, when excising a tumor, there may be micrometastases along the edges of the tumor that are too small to be detected, and if not removed, could cause a relapse. In such circumstances, a surgeon may opt to debride a portion of the surrounding healthy tissue – as little as possible – to ensure that the tumor is completely removed.

Farmer Maggot

Farmer Maggot is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring. He lives on a farm called Bamfurlong in the Marish region of the Eastfarthing of the Shire. Edible mushrooms, highly prized among Hobbits, grow abundantly on his land, and Farmer Maggot often has to deal with other Hobbits stealing them, which is one reason he keeps a pack of large, fierce dogs.


Gangrene is a type of tissue death caused by a lack of blood supply. Symptoms may include a change in skin color to red or black, numbness, swelling, pain, skin breakdown, and coolness. The feet and hands are most commonly affected. Certain types may present with a fever or sepsis.Risk factors include diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, smoking, major trauma, alcoholism, HIV/AIDS, frostbite, and Raynaud's syndrome. It can be classified as dry gangrene, wet gangrene, gas gangrene, internal gangrene, and necrotizing fasciitis. The diagnosis of gangrene is based on symptoms and supported by tests such as medical imaging.Treatment may involve surgery to remove the dead tissue, antibiotics to treat any infection, and efforts to address the underlying cause. Surgical efforts may include debridement, amputation, or the use of maggot therapy. Efforts to treat the underlying cause may include bypass surgery or angioplasty. In certain cases, hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be useful. How commonly the condition occurs is unknown.

Maggot (rapper)

Maggot (real name Andrew Major) (born 1976) is a British rapper and ex-member of the rap group Goldie Lookin Chain.

Maggot Brain

Maggot Brain is the third studio album by the American funk band Funkadelic. It was recorded at United Sound Systems in Detroit during late 1970 and early 1971, before being released in July 1971 by Westbound Records. Shortly after Maggot Brain was recorded, Tawl Ross, Eddie Hazel, Billy Nelson, and Tiki Fulwood left the band for various reasons.

Maggot Brain Theory

Maggot Brain Theory was released in 1994 and is the fourth extended play by Esham A. Smith.

Maggot therapy

Maggot therapy is a type of biotherapy involving the introduction of live, disinfected maggots (fly larvae) into the non-healing skin and soft tissue wound(s) of a human or animal for the purpose of cleaning out the necrotic (dead) tissue within a wound (debridement) and disinfection.

There is evidence that maggot therapy may help with wound healing.


Maggott (Japheth), is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was briefly a member of the X-Men.

A flamboyant South African mutant who spoke in exaggerated Afrikaans slang, Maggott was advertised as one of the strangest X-Men. His digestive system took the form of two slugs which could eat through practically any substance. After feeding, the slugs reentered Maggott's abdomen and passed nourishment into him, giving him incredible power.

Michael Hampton

Michael Hampton (born November 15, 1956) is an American funk/rock guitarist. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.Hampton was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and started his professional career when he was recruited as a seventeen-year-old guitar prodigy by the band Funkadelic, which found itself in need of a lead guitarist after original guitarist Eddie Hazel left the band. Hampton impressed Funkadelic's George Clinton by performing a note-for-note rendition of Hazel's ten-minute solo "Maggot Brain". He made his debut with the band's album Let's Take It to the Stage in 1975, which is dominated by his guitar. Hampton's playing included fuzzy, Hendrix-inspired licks and wailing harmonics.

Due to his young age, Hampton was nicknamed 'Kidd Funkadelic'.

Hampton became a fixture in Funkadelic, and he continued his role as lead guitarist even during Hazel's sporadic returns to the band. Hampton's performances of "Maggot Brain" — which had become more improvised – became regular features of live Parliament-Funkadelic shows, and the song became his signature concert performance. The bonus-EP of Funkadelic's One Nation Under a Groove (1978) included a live version of the song featuring Hampton. The 12" single version of the title track was the first notable Funkadelic song to feature Mike Hampton on lead guitar. One of his most celebrated performances is the lead guitar solo on the Funkadelic hit single "(Not Just) Knee Deep" from 1979, as well the title track to the Brides of Funkenstein's second album Never Buy Texas From A Cowboy.

In 1981 Clinton was forced to disband the P-Funk musical empire due to financial and legal difficulties. In 1993, he performed on the album Under the 6 with Slavemaster. Hampton performed on the albums released under Clinton's name, which featured many other P-Funk mainstays as well, and he became a member of the P-Funk All-Stars. In 1998, he released his first solo album entitled Heavy Metal Funkason through the P-Vine label in Japan. As of 2014, Hampton continues to perform with the All-Stars, and his performance of "Maggot Brain" remains a staple of their concerts but for the first time in years, he's not on the 2015 tour.


Myiasis is the parasitic infestation of the body of a live animal by fly larvae (maggots) that grow inside the host while feeding on its tissue. Although flies are most commonly attracted to open wounds and urine- or feces-soaked fur, some species (including the most common myiatic flies—the botfly, blowfly, and screwfly) can create an infestation even on unbroken skin and have been known to use moist soil and non-myiatic flies (such as the common housefly) as vector agents for their parasitic larvae.

Colloquialisms for myiasis include flystrike and blowfly strike, and the victim or the tissue may be described as fly-blown. The name of the condition derives from ancient Greek μυῖα (myia), meaning "fly".

Because some animals (particularly domestic animals) cannot react as effectively as humans to the causes and effects of myiasis, such infestations present a severe and continuing problem for livestock industries worldwide, causing severe economic losses where they are not mitigated by human action. Although typically a far greater issue for animals, myiasis is also a relatively frequent affliction of humans in rural tropical regions where myiatic flies thrive, and often may require medical attention to surgically remove the parasites.Myiasis varies widely in the forms it takes and its effects on the victims. Such variations depend largely on the fly species and where the larvae are located. Some flies lay eggs in open wounds, other larvae may invade unbroken skin or enter the body through the nose or ears, and still others may be swallowed if the eggs are deposited on the lips or on food.


P-Funk (also spelled P Funk or P. Funk) refers to the repertoire, musical style, and/or group of performers associated with George Clinton. The term is variously known as an abbreviation of Parliament-Funkadelic, Psychedelic Funk, Pure Funk, or Plainfield Funk.

The P-Funk groups had their heyday in the 1970s and continue to attract new fans thanks both to the legacy of samples they bequeathed to hip hop and the live shows that the bands continue to perform. Their music was very aspirational, which is symbolized by their Mothership that has since been acquired by the Smithsonian. Notable P-Funk albums include Funkadelic's Maggot Brain and Parliament's Mothership Connection. The differing styles of these albums showcase the wide range of P-Funk's music. "Maggot Brain was an explosive record" of Jimi Hendrix inspired rock while Mothership Connection was an "album of science-fiction funk." While this rock/funk differentiation is what normally separated Funkadelic from Parliament, the bands consisted of many of the same members and performed live on tour together. Hence, the two groups are often described under the one moniker Parliament-Funkadelic.

P-Funk recordings have been extensively sampled in rap and hip-hop music, especially by Dr. Dre and other West Coast acts, beginning in the late 1980s and being particularly associated with the G-funk style of rap.

The Maggot

The Maggot is the 10th studio album by the Melvins, which was released in 1999 through Ipecac Recordings. This album is the first part of a trilogy followed by The Bootlicker and The Crybaby. The Trilogy was later released on vinyl by Ipecac Recordings (The Trilogy Vinyl, IPC-011, November 27, 2000).

On the CD version all songs are split into two tracks. A 2006 reissue of the album swaps the background artwork with The Bootlicker.

Umpire (Australian rules football)

An umpire is an official in the sport of Australian rules football who adjudicates the game according to the "Laws Of The Game", the official handbook of Australian Rules Football.

Washington State Department of Agriculture

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is a cabinet-level agency in the government of Washington which regulates, advocates, and provides services for the state's agricultural industry. The agency was established in 1913 and is headquartered in Olympia, Washington. The current director of the WSDA is Derek Sandison.


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