Scuttle Fly
( Phoridae )


2012-0407-01100112-DIPZZZZZ-Calliphoridae[1212h49s,F,A,plant-leaf]{JohnWaite}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT
Scuttle Flies: refers to their habit of running quickly in short bursts, followed by short pauses; Coffin Flies: larvae can be a pest in mausoleums, entering coffins and feeding on the bodies inside.

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Phoridae
(Curtis , 1833)
Common Name:Scuttle Fly
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Diptera
Suborder:Brachycera
Family:Phoridae
Taxon Code:DIPZZZZZ
ITIS/TSN:138921

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, 666 Bellevue, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100110

RECOGNITION
Recognition
Tiny black, brown, or yellowish flies with a humped back, a low small head, and dark eyes; costal vein extends only about halfway along anterior wing margin; two strong longitudinal veins anteriorly (in costal area), and 4-5 weak veins posteriorly, not connected by cross-veins; hind femora enlarged and flattened, and hind legs long; antennae appear 1-segmented
Description
Tiny black, brown, or yellowish flies with a humped back, a low small head, and dark eyes; costal vein extends only about halfway along anterior wing margin; two strong longitudinal veins anteriorly (in costal area), and 4-5 weak veins posteriorly, not connected by cross-veins; hind femora enlarged and flattened, and hind legs long; antennae appear 1-segmented.
Body Length
Adult 1-7 mm (many 2-4 mm)
Similar Taxa
Often mistaken for Vinegar Flies (Drosophilidae) due to their similar size.

BIOLOGY
The way of life of most species is unknown. Many live in decaying organic material, including in sewer pipes. The most commonly noticed species of phorid is M. scalaris, which is found in invertebrate and small vertebrate cultures, such as insect zoos, tarantulas, lizards, snakes, hermit crabs, etc. Most species, however, are probably specialized scavengers, predators, parasitoids, and even true parasites.
Food
Extremely biologically diverse family: there are scavengers (some extraordinarily generalized, others highly specialized), herbivores, fungus-feeders, predators, parasitoids, and true parasites. Adults feed on honeydew, nectar, dead insects, carrion, host hemolymph; a few prey on insects.
Distribution
Worldwide.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
ITIS .


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