Photo of the Week: The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (a bluebottle fly)

Christopher Dwen,
Forensic Research Assistant,
Faculty of Science & TechnologyChristopher Dwen, Forensic Research Assistant, Faculty of Science & Technology

The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (a bluebottle fly)

Our next instalment of the ‘Photo of the Week’ series features Christopher Dwen’s image of the compound eye of calliphora vomitoria (a bluebottle fly). The series is a weekly instalment which features an image taken by our fantastic BU staff and students. The photos give a glimpse into some of the fascinating work our researchers have been doing across BU and the wider community.

Christopher’s research looks at the blood feeding activity of calliphora vomitoria (bluebottle flies) at crime scenes. This activity can often be confounding.

Experiments were conducted to investigate the blood feeding activity and blood artefact patterns created by the flies following a blood meal. The trials were undertaken in a staged environment where over 500 flies were exposed to 500ml of horse blood in a sealed gazebo for a period of 72 hours.

The resulting patterns, a total of 539,507 fly blood artefacts, were then compared to recreated bloodstain patterns commonly encountered during instances of violent assault. These comparisons focused on overall pattern shape, total stain numbers, stain density per cm2 and the zone where they were deposited. Informal observations and recordings were also made of individual stain colour and stain alignment, but were not measured.

If you’d like find out more about the research or the photo itself then please contact Christopher.

This photo was originally an entry to the 2017 Research Photography Competition. If you have any other questions about the Photo of the Week series or the competition please email