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Arthropoda: Hexapoda:  Insecta:  Diptera






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[Key to Muscidae Genera]


     The house flies, face flies, horn flies, stable flies, tsetse flies and little house flies are all serious pests of humans and animals.  Adults of the family may be identified by fleshy lobes, called squamae, located underneath the halteres on the sides of the thorax.  Many species are also identified by chaetotaxy (arrangement of hairs on the body).  Identification of some Diptera larvae is by the Cephalopharyngeal Skeleton and patterns of their spiracular plates (See:  Posterior Spiracular Plates).


          The importance of this family as serious pests and vectors of diseases has led to several biological control projects to contain them (see bc-37.htm).


          Muscidae.-- The housefly, Musca domestica L., lays its eggs in decaying vegetable matter or animal excrement.  .  The legless larvae are maggots with mouth hooks, caudal and thoracic spiracles.  Their filthy habits of regurgitating saliva and food cause them to be vectors of typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. etc.  Either feces or regurgitations cause the flyspecks often found on surfaces.  Houseflies have been the target of biological control in California and elsewhere (see ch-50.htm)



          The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) can breed in vegetable matter.  The adult's mouthparts are of the biting type, and the adults resemble houseflies, but are grayer in color.



          The hornfly, Haematobia irritans (L.) is also similar to the housefly but much smaller.  It is a pest of cattle primarily and breeds in cattle dung.



          Glossinidae.-- Tsetse flies, Glossina spp., are confined to the African Continent and Arabia where they are vectors of trypanosomes that cause Sleeping Sickness and related diseases of humans and animals.  They are distinguished by having their proboscis held straight forward and by having a a forewing cell in the shape of a cleaver.  These large, noisy flies may cause severe bites on humans with resultant swellings.  In East Africa they are especially prevalent around streams.



          Fanniidae.-- Little house flies. Fannia spp., breed in large numbers in animal dung, and are especially numerous around poultry farms where they breed in such high numbers as to invade surrounding areas causing annoyance to residents.  They appear as small houseflies hovering in huge masses.  Their larvae are distinctively flattened with many protuberances on the periphery. They have been the target of biological control in California and elsewhere (see ch-50.htm)




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  Key References:     <medvet.ref.htm>    <Hexapoda>    [Additional references may be found at: MELVYL Library]


Barin, A., F. Arabkhazaeli, S. Rahbari & S. A. Madani.  2010.  The housefly, Musca domestica, as a possible mechanical vector of Newcastle

     disease virus in the  laboratory and field.  Med. Vet. Entomol., 24(1): 88–90.


Barnard, D R; Geden, C J.  1993.  Influence of larval density and temperature in poultry manure on development of the house fly (Diptera:

     Muscidae.  Environ.  Entomol., v.22, n.5, (1993): 971-977.


Brown, B.V. 2001. Flies, gnats, and mosquitoes.. In  Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Volume 2. Academic Press. pp. 815-826


Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N.E. Woodley & M. Zumbado.  2009.  Man. Cent.Amer. Diptera, Vol. 1, NRC Research

     Press, Ottawa.


Chillcott, J. G.  1961.  A revision of the Nearctic species of Fanniinae (Diptera: Muscidae).  Canad. Entomol Suppl, 14(1): 295


Couri, M. S.  2005.  An illustrated key to adult males of neotropical Fannia Robineau-Desvoidy belonging to pusio sub-group (Diptera,

     Fanniidae).  Brasil J. Biol,  65(4):  625–629


De Jesus, A. J.,  A. R. Olsen & J. R. Bryce.  2004.  Whiting Quantitative contamination and transfer of Escherichia coli from food by houseflies,

     Musca domestica L  (Diptera:Muscidae).  Int. J. Food Microbiol, 193: 259–262


Forster, M.,  S. Klimpel, H. Mehlhorn, K. Sievert, S. Messler & K. Pfeffer.  2007.  Pilot study on synanthropic flies (e.g. Musca, Sarcophaga,

     Calliphora, Fannia,   Lucilia and Stomoxys) as vectors of pathogenic microorganisms.  Parasitol Res, 101(1): 243–246,


Geden, C J; Rutz, D A; Steinkraus, D C.  1995.  Virulence of different isolates and formulations of Beauveria bassiana for house flies and the

     parasitoid Muscidifurax  raptor.Biological Control, v.5, n.4, (1995): 615-621.


Geden, C J; Steinkraus, D C; Rutz, D A.  1993.  Evaluation of two methods for release of Entomophthora muscae (Entomophthorales:

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Geden, C J; Steinkraus, D C; Rutz, D A.  1993.  Evaluation of two methods for release of Entomophthora muscae (Entomophthorales:

     Entomophthoraceae) to infect  house flies (Diptera: Muscidae) on dairy farms.  Environ. Entomol., v.22, n.5, (1993): 1201-1208.


Geden, C. J.  1984.  Population dynamics, spatial distribution, dispersal behavior and life history of the predaceous histerid, Carcinops pumilio

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     Mass., Amherst.  220 p.


Geden, C. J.  1990.  The role of coleopteran and acarine predators in house fly population regulation in poultry production facilities, p. 177-200.

      In:  D. A. Rutz & R. A. Patterson (eds.), Biocontrol of Arthropods Affecting Livestock and Poultry.  Westview Press, Boulder, CO.


Geden, C. J. & D. A. Rutz.  1991a.  Using parasitic wasps to manage insecticide-resistant house flies.  Fact Sheet.  2 p.


Geden, C. J. & J. G. Stoffolano, Jr.  1987.  Succession of manure arthropods at a poultry farm in Massachusetts, with notes on Carcinops pumilio

     sex ratios, ovarian condition and body size.  J. Med. Ent. 24:  214-22.


Geden, C. J. & J. G. Stoffolano.  1988.  Dispersion patterns of arthropods associated with poultry manure in enclosed houses in Massachusetts:

     spatial distribution and effects of manure moisture and accumulation time.  J. Ent. Sci. 23:  136-48.


Geden, C. J. & R. C. Axtell.  1988a.  Predation by Carcinops pumilio (Coleoptera: Histeridae) and Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Acarina:

     Macrochelidae) on the housefly (Diptera: Muscidae):  Functional response, effects of temperature and availability of alternative prey.  Environ.

     Ent. 17:  739-44.


Geden, C. J., R. F. Stinner & R. C. Axtell.  1988.  Predation by predators of the house fly in poultry manure:  effects of predator density, feeding

     history, interspecific interference and field conditions.  Environ. Ent. 17:  320-29.


Gheibi, M. & H Ostovan.  2009.  Preliminary investigation on the Tachinid flies in Fasrs province in Iran.  Plant Prot J, 2(1): 140–166.


Gregor, F. R. et al., 2002 The Muscidae (Diptera) of Central Europe, Brno, Folia Biologia, 107.


Hall, M. J., A.H. Wardhana, G. Shahhosseini & Z. J. Adams.  2009.  Genetic diversity of populations of Old World screw worm fly, Chrysomya

      bezziana, causing  traumatic myiasis of livestock in the Gulf region and implications for control by sterile insect technique.  Med. Vet.

      Entomol, 23 (Supp 11): 51–58


Hennig, W. 1955–64.  Muscidae IN: Erwin Lindner, Die Fliegen der Paläarktischen Region 63b, Schweizerbart, Stuttgart.


Hinkle, Nancy C., D. Craig Sheppard, and Maxcy P. Nolan, Jr.  1985.  Comparing residue exposure and topical application techniques for

     assessing permethrin  resistance in house flies (Diptera: Muscidae).  J. Econ. Ent. 78: 722-724.


Huckett, H.C.  1965.  The Muscidae of northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland (Diptera). Memoirs Entomol. Soc. of Canada 42: 1-369.


James, M. T.  1947.  The flies that cause myiasis in man, US Government Printing Office, Washington, p. 228


Khoobdel, M., A. Mehrabi Tavana, H. Vatandoost & M. R. Abaei.  2008.  Arthropod borne diseases in imposed war during 1980-88.  Iran J

     Arthropod-Born Dis,  2(1): 24–32


Khoobdel, M., S.M.A. Seyedi Rashti, M. Shayeghi & S. Tirgari.  2004. The survey fauna of Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae flies in Tehran and

     suburb.  J. School Publ Health Inst. Publ. Health Res, 8(2): 79–83


Khoobdel, M., N. Jonaidi & M. Seiedi Rashti.  2008.  Blowfly and flesh (Diptera: Cyclorrhpha) fauna in Tehran, Iran J. Entomol, 5(3): 185–192


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Matheson, R. 1950.  Medical Entomology.  Comstock Publ. Co, Inc.  610 p.


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      Herald, Budapest. 978 p.


McAlpine, J. F., B. V. Peterson, G. E. Shewell, J. R. Vockeroth & D. M. Wood.  1987.  Manual of Nearctic Diptera, 2 Vols, Research Branch,

      Agric. Canada, Monogr. No. 27 & 28.


Lang, M. D., G. R. Allen & B. J. Horton.  2006.  Blowfly succession from possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) carrion in a sheep-farming zone.  Med.

     Vet. Entomol,  20(4) : 445–452


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      moisture levels.  Environ. Entomol. 31(4): 588-593.


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     poultry systems. Calif. Agric.  55(5): 26-30.


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    Muscidae). Biological Control, v.5, n.3, (1995): 405-411.




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