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Friday, 4 March 2016

Maggot

A maggot is the common name of the footless larvae of some types of flies.The name is generally applied to the larvae of Brachyceran flies, such as houseflies, cheese flies, and blowflies, rather than larvae of the Nematocera, such as mosquitoes and Crane flies.

Saint Simeon Stylites (c. 388 –September 2, 459) was a Syriac ascetic saint who achieved fame for living 37 years on a small platform on top of a pillar near Aleppo in Syria. For a period of a year he stood on one leg and tied a rope around his waist so tightly that his lower body became putrefied and infested with ulcers and maggots. He proceeded to eat the maggots saying, "Eat what God has given to you."

16th-century icon of Simeon Stylites. 

Certain types of maggots are parasitic, like the Botfly larvae. These larvae spend part of their life cycle as parasites under the skin of living animals. As a result myiasis will take place in the host causing symptoms like sores and irritating lesions and even death.

Maggots generate so much heat when they feed on a corpse that, in a confined space, they can raise temperatures up to 122°F (50°C).

The presence of maggots on a corpse is useful in the estimation of time elapsed since death. 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 type of and development of the insects present at a crime scene, forensic entomologists can determine the approximate time of death.

Maggots on a porcupine carcass. By Paul venter -Wikipedia Commons

Casu marzu is a Sardinian cheese that contains live maggots.

The rat-tailed maggot is cultured and sold as fish bait. They are especially popular in ice and trout fishing.

In Germany, "Leben wie die maden im speck"—"to live like a maggot in bacon"—is an idiom for having a luxurious lifestyle.

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