Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Subfamily Psychodinae - Moth Flies

Drain Fly - Clogmia albipunctata Clogmia albipunctata? Psychodinae - is genus possible? - Clogmia albipunctata Lepiseodina conspicua  Lepiseodina conspicua? - Lepiseodina conspicua moth fly Setomima nitida Psychoda alternata
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Psychodomorpha
Family Psychodidae (Moth Flies and Sand Flies)
Subfamily Psychodinae (Moth Flies)
Other Common Names
Drain Flies, Sewage Flies, Filth Flies
1.5-4 mm(1)
Adult: resembles a tiny moth; body hairy, variably yellow through gray to black; when at rest, wings held roof-like over body; wing veins numerous, hairy, parallel, with no cross-veins in outer two-thirds of wing; antennae long, containing 12-16 segments, each segment bulbous with ring of long hairs
Larva: eyeless and legless; head darker and narrower than body; each segment with one or more dark rectangular bands dorsally; terminal segment narrows, forming dark-colored breathing tube
Pupa: resembles minute grain of brown rice
Egg: minute, brown to cream-colored
Adults often found around sewage installations, in public washrooms, and bathrooms in homes, and are attracted to light; larvae live in organic sludge that forms on inner surfaces of drains and sewage pipes; pupae occur on the surface of the organic film that the larvae have been living in
Larvae feed on algae, fungi and bacteria in sewage and organic sludge; adults feed in polluted water and on flower nectar
Life Cycle
In the home, females lay irregular masses of 30-200 eggs in the organic gelatinous film lining drains, particularly in bathtubs and showers; eggs hatch 32-48 hours after being laid, when ambient temperatures are 70ºF (about 20ºC), and larvae pupate 9-15 days later; pupa stage lasts 20-40 hours; development time from egg to adult is 7-28 days, depending on temperature and food availability; adults live for about two weeks
Larvae play an important role in purifying sewage in industrial sewage treatment plants. Adults are very weak fliers, covering only a few feet at a time in short erratic flights. Outside, they can be blown considerable distances by the wind.
Information from this page is originally contributed by Troy Bartlett, Beatriz Moisset, Robin McLeod, and Omar Fahmy on this page
See Also
The Subfamily Trichomyiinae has some very similar species.
Examples: Quatiella -- and -- Trichomyia
Internet References
Fact sheet by G.E. Ridge