Musca spp.

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Musca spp.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Diptera
Family Muscidae
Genus Musca
Muscidae sp.
Bettinelli Roland 2008, Wikimedia Commons

Musca autumnalis

Also known as: Face Fly

M. autumnalis is found worldwide, and is widely distributed throughout Europe.


The fly is around 7-8mm in length. It grey in colour and has 4 dark stripes on the thorax. It is very similar in appearance to M. domestica, and has prominant red eyes.

Life Cycle

M. autumnalis feeds on secretions from the nose, mouth, and the eyes, as well as blood from the wounds left by other flies. It lays eggs in cattle manure, which later develop into larvae. The larvae pass through three separate stages, before forming pupae in the soil. Under optimal conditions, they require around 2 weeks to complete the life cycle.

Musca domestica

Also known as: House Fly

M. domestica is closely associated with humans and livestock. It is of importance as it mechanically transmits pathogens of real significance e.g. mastitis, and anthrax.


M. domestica is around 7mm in length, and grey in colour, with four dark longitudinal shapes. The abdomen is dark yellow in colour, with a black median stripe.

Life Cycle

The female lays eggs in faeces and dead rotting material. The eggs then hatch within a day. There are 3 subsequent larval stages and feed upon the faeces. When the larvae mature, they relocate to drier areas, where they form pupae. The pupae will then later mature into adults.

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