The 3,000 or so worldwide species are easily recognized by their pattern of 3 black stripes on the thorax and the mosaic on the top of the abdomen. They are differentiated from Tachinidae because they have 4 stripes on their thorax. They receive their common name because of their habit of developing in carrion although there are a few species that grow in live flesh.
It is very difficult to ID these flies by their outward appearance. The only true way to know what species they are is to microscopically dissect them and examine their genitalia.
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