Phorid Fly, Megaselia scalaris
Also known as: “Coffin fly”, “Humpbacked fly”, and “Scuttle fly”
Known for flying from fermenting filth, flushes of Phorids frequently foul food and inflicting infections.
Description: Adult flies are 3-4 mm long with a wingspan of 9-10 mm. The thorax is dark brown-tan with a distinctive humped appearance and have wings have no cross veins.
Life cycle: Female flies The female phorid fly lays eggs in moist areas and the eggs hatch within two days. The larvae feed on organic matter for two to three weeks and then pupate for one week. The adults survive for an average of three weeks and can lay up to 100 eggs in their lifetime.lay around 40 eggs on decaying organic matter over the course of 12 hours. The larvae hatch after around 24 hours and feed for 8-16 days. These larvae have a unique behavior of swallowing air to make them float in pools of liquid. They then crawl to a dryer place to pupate and become adults. Depending on the conditions, the entire life cycle can take up to 40 days, with ideal conditions resulting in a complete life cycle in 14 days.
Habitat: There are many potential habitats for fly infestations. These incude urban areas containing enclosed spaces, like tombs, dwellings, public lavatories, floor drainage systems, rubbish bins, refuse receptacles, decaying flesh or spoiled foods, vegetable matter, broken sewer pipes, and many more.
Food: Larvae feed upon fermenting organic materials, carrion, sewage, and feces. Adults feed upon carbohydrates and exudates.
Range: Established throughout the U.S. (especially within older/ aging/decaying urban infrastructures).
Significance: As an endophilic (“interior-loving”) species, Phorid flies are significantly increasing as pest pressures. With the added pressure of heavy rains, decaying biological waste handling systems and aging municipal sewer and septic systems fail from blockages and collapse. Flies easily locate and exploit such failures. Therefore allowing interior structural explosive invasions or en masse flushes of adult Phorid flies.