Green Bottle Fly

Macro photo of a Green Bottle fly. Note the ridges and colorful rainbow iridescence on the wings due to thin-film interference. I had not noticed these features before, I suppose its because its so difficult to get this close to a live fly! I suspect the metallic green hue is generated by thin film optics or maybe a natural photonic crystal. The white backdrop was designed to look like those Telus ads with cute squirrel monkeys and other animals.


I used the Canon PowerShot Pro 1 SuperMacro mode to get within 3 centimeters distance. I captured this fly in a transparent container and let him get comfortable in his new home for about one hour. When I released the cover to take the photo, he did not immediately escape because he assumed the cover was still there! The background is fine grain printer paper curved to act as a bounce flash diffuser. Direct light from the flash was blocked with another white sheet folded as to allow secondary reflection to reach the top part of the curved sheet on the table. The fly is still in my room so I may catch him again and try this shot in a lightbox to get a brighter reflection off the metallic green part. I will probably go outside to catch a bigger one to improve the resolution as my camera cannot zoom in any closer (this is a crop from a much larger shot).


No animals were harmed in the taking of these photos.


-Added to the Cream of the Crop pool as most interesting.

  • Rusty 8y

    Nice shot! And I, too, never noticed the iridescence on flies' wings before :)

    *Edited spelling. 3 errors in a single word is just too many :)
  • peasap 7y

    That is awesome. Thanks for the description as to how you captured the critter. Think I'll try that with half an hour in the fridge added to slow him down!!
  • Paco Cabeza-Lopez 7y

    I cant believe this is your most interesting picture at this moment ! ? !
  • John Talbot 7y

    At this moment this is still my most interesting picture however the full irony only manifests itself when you realize that my spider photo is in second place!
    Giant spider strikes again!
  • Imran Rashid 7y

    Wonderful Capture Indeed !!!
  • Barbara Stock 7y

    Phantastic!!! Great capture and beautiful photo! Amazing details and thanks for the interesting explanations, too!!!
  • Vint Falken 6y

    Borrowed your fly for use in this photoshop. Thank you very much for putting it up under CC!

    Fly levels up
  • blablablablablablalblablbabla 6y

    You're invited to post your photo in our group

    Show us your best

    Seen in a discussion of the group "Favorites: 30" (?)
  • mistermacrophotos 6y

  • Jenny Power 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called The Dolly Mix, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Jenny Power 6y

    Seen in...

    Thank you.
  • claire stoke 6y

    Flies are so cool as an image, this is a great macro shot, can i please add it to my group Photos that would look great on a Bank Card, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Blah di blah di blah 5y

    Awesome photo of a fly. Thanks for giving this a creative commons licence. I hope you don't mind that I've used it on my blog:

  • rubyblossom. 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called The StockYard, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Beautiful colours on such a detested insect :))
  • rubyblossom. 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Creative Commons- Free Pictures, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • heyjuju1 5y

    Would love to see a honeybee!
  • RumpledElf 4y

    Hi, I've used this photo too, here:

    Who would have thought flies are so interesting!
  • mlhradio 1y

    Congratulations on receiving more than 50,000 views -- that's quite impressive! Now that you've reached this major milestone, you might want to consider graduating this photograph from the 'Views: 25,000' group to the 'Views: 50,000' group, which can be found here:

    Once again, congratulations and hopefully your photos will receive many more views in the future! Reminder: Per group rules, photos should only be in one 'Views:xx' group at a time. Once you have graduated the photograph from one 'Views: xx' group to another, remember to remove the photograph from all previous 'Views: xx' groups. (This is an automated message posted by the group moderator. Please note that replies to this message will not be seen or replied.)
  • Tom Frost 3mo

    This Fly picture is great, I've used it for my pest control in reading website:!fly-pest-control/c16jz
74 faves
Taken on June 27, 2007
  • ƒ/4.0
  • 22.8 mm
  • 1/60
  • Flash (on, fired)
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