~700 spp. in our area(1)
, >5,200 spp. in ~190 genera total(2)
antennae 3-segmented, aristate
; vein Rs 2-branched, frontal suture present, calypters well developed, arista
for the entire length, hypopleuron usually without bristles; generally more than one sternopleural bristle, R5 cell either parallel sided or narrowed distally, vein 2A short and not reaching wing margin.
Wing of Musca domestica
Keys to Neotropical species in (3)
all of North America and worldwide
This is the most common family found on hog and poultry farms, horse stables, and ranches.
Larvae in dung, carrion, soil, nests, decaying vegetation, etc.
Adults of some species bite or passively vector pathogens for diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, anthrax, and African sleeping sickness. The house fly overwinters in either the larval or pupal stage under manure piles or in other protected locations. Warm summer conditions are generally optimum for the development of the house fly, and it can complete its life cycle in as little as seven to ten days, and as many as 10 to 12 generations may occur in one summer. Each female fly can lay up to 500 eggs in several batches of about 75 to 150 eggs, each over a three to four day period. The number of eggs produced is a function of female size, which is principally a result of larval nutrition. Adults usually live 15 to 25 days, and are largely diurnal.