Types of flies

The diptera (Diptera order) are a group of flying insects made up of flies, mosquitoes and horseflies, among others. The members of this group are characterized by having a very short life cycle, of around 30 days, as we explain in this article: "Life cycle of flies ". Focusing on flies, there are well-known representatives such as the fruit fly, the typical fly that lands on fruits and vegetables, or the house fly, which is the most common in our homes. Some types of flies feed on pollen and nectar, others on fruits and flowers and some are blood-sucking, that is, they consume animal blood.

The group of Diptera is very diverse, since it has more than 100,000 species distributed throughout the world that fulfill various favorable ecological roles such as pollination or collaborate with the decomposition of organic matter, while other species have health importance because they are vectors of diseases. However, in this AnimalWised article we will talk about the types of flies most common, where they live and their ecological habits.

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  1. Dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)
  2. Tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans
  3. Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans)
  4. Horseflies (family Tabanidae)
  5. Loft fly (Pollenia rudis)
  6. Blowflies or blowflies (family Calliphoridae)
  7. House fly (Musca domestica)
  8. Drain flies (family Psychodidae)
  9. Fruit or vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster)
  10. Meat fly (Sarcophaga carnaria)
  11. Other types of flies

Dung fly (Scathophaga stercoraria)

It belongs to the Scathophagidae family, it is also commonly known as yellow manure fly and is distributed in northern hemisphere regions, especially in North America and Europe, where they are abundant in areas where there is greater agricultural activity.

It is a small fly that measures about 1 cm. The male is slightly larger than the female and is also almost golden yellow in color. Its name is due to the fact that to reproduce and lay eggs it is located on the feces of large mammals such as horses, cows, wild boars or deer, among others. It has a very important role in nature, since it helps the natural decomposition of animal waste.

Tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans

This species is within the Glossinidae family, so it is part of the group known as tsetse flies, and inhabits very dry areas of the African savannah, more precisely in sub-Saharan Africa. During the wettest season it occupies places in the savannah, however, in the dry season it moves towards wooded areas, where there is shade and greater humidity..

It is about 1.5 cm long and both the male and the female they are exclusively blood-sucking, that is, they feed on blood, so their mouthparts are specialized for this diet and, therefore, they are a type of flies that bite. They can live up to 5 or 6 months in the case of females, while males live between 3 and 4 months. Blood is obtained from both mammals and reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. This type of fly is a vector for Trypanosoma brucei, a parasite that causes African trypanosomiasis, popularly known as sleeping sickness..

Image: commons.wikipedia.org

Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans)

Also known as biting fly, This species is within the Muscidae family and, although it is distributed throughout most of the world, its origin is in Asia and Europe. The stable fly is very similar to the house fly, measuring around 8 mm and is also associated with humans and livestock activities, as it is very common in stables and pens, hence its name..

It is of sanitary importance for livestock and other poultry animals, since both the male and the female feed on the blood of humans and animals and can be vectors of several parasites and bacteria, among which are trypanosomes and the causative bacteria. anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), as well as other diseases such as brucellosis, African horse sickness, anemia, among others.

Horseflies (family Tabanidae)

Horseflies are like flies but larger, that is why they are often considered large types of flies. They comprise a group made up of more than 1 000 species of the genus Tabanus, within the family Tabanidae. They are diptera that can measure more than 2 cm long and they are known because some species, in addition to being large, have brown or orange colors.

These are species that are active during the day and, although they can bite humans, it is common to see them in places with livestock, which can cause very painful bites with serious weight loss, since the females are blood-sucking, that is, they They feed on blood, while males consume nectar and pollen. The pain of their sting is due to the fact that their mouth apparatus is adapted to cut the skin like scissors, so they act like small blades. In the image we see the bovine horsefly.

Discover more Animals that feed on blood in this other article.

Loft fly (Pollenia rudis)

This species of fly belongs to the Polleniidae family and is distributed in North America and Europe. It is about 1 cm long and its name is due to the fact that during the coldest months, in autumn and winter, it hibernates in places such as attics or attics. It is lazier and slower than other types of flies and it is common for it to group near windows or in warm places, since it is very sensitive to changes in pressure and temperature, so in low temperatures it seeks to take refuge, while in hot weather and there is sun, goes to open and wooded places.

In the larval stage it feeds on earthworms, while the adult loft fly it is herbivorous and consumes from sap to flowers or fruits.

Blowflies or blowflies (family Calliphoridae)

Among the types of flies we also find the blowflies, blowflies, califorids or blue flies, since they are called in many ways. They are a group of more than 1 000 species of flies of the Calliphoridae family and are cosmopolitan, that is, they are distributed almost everywhere in the world, especially in tropical and temperate zones. They measure around 12-13mm and are known for their bright colors ranging from metallic blues to greens..

They are associated with putrefactive and decomposing substances, which is why many species are used in forensic medicine, since their stages of development are used to determine the time of death. Due to these habits, they are ghouls, That is, they feed on decaying tissues, and some even become important pollinators of plant species that attract them with strong odors..

In the image we see the green blowfly Lucilia caesar.

House fly (Musca domestica)

Without a doubt, among the types of flies that exist, the best known is this. This species belongs to the Muscidae family and is one of the most common flies that we can find in the homes almost all over the worldor. It measures between 5 and 8 mm long and it is common to see it on food during the day, which is when it is most active, while at night it rests near the food.

It can become transmitters of diseases for humans, since when it sits on food it can deposit its infected feces. It can act as a vector for parasites, bacteria that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, anthrax or cholera, among others, and is considered a larger pest than mosquitoes.

If these insects usually bother you or your animals and you fear that they transmit a disease, discover How to keep flies away without damaging them.

Drain flies (family Psychodidae)

Also known as moisture flies or moths, They are another type of flies made up of several species that inhabit almost the entire world, except in very cold regions. These are small species that do not measure up to 1 cm. Its body is flattened and covered with villi, hence the name "moth ". It is very common in places such as bathrooms, drains, sewers and sewage channels, always with high humidity, where it seeks its food from organic remains. It is almost always perched, since it is quite passive and its flight is slow.

These small flies do not pose a risk to humans, although other members of the Psychodidae family can be vectors of diseases, such as members of the Phlebotominae subfamily, which transmit leishmaniasis..

Fruit or vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

A member of the Drosophilidae family, the fruit fly is also one of the best-known species in the world. Its name is due to the fact that it feeds and reproduces in fermenting fruits. It is a species of no more than 3 mm long, with some characteristic red eyes and a yellowish body with part of the dark abdomen. Due to its short life cycle and genetic characteristics, this type of fly has been used for years in scientific research, especially in fields such as developmental biology and genetics. For this reason, it is considered a model organism, that is, it serves to be able to study and understand many simple processes of development in other different organisms..

Meat fly (Sarcophaga carnaria)

This species belongs to the Sarcophagidae family and is distributed in the central and northern Europe, although its presence in other areas is not ruled out. It is much larger than other species of flies, since it can measure up to 1.5 cm long, and it attracts attention due to the coloration of its body, which is a metallic gray. Its name is due to its eating habits, since this fly rests on decomposing meat, where it reproduces and larvae develop, being more frequent in the summer time.

Its flight is fast and with a very loud buzz and it is considered a very important vector of some diseases and bacteria, because, in general, they are one of the first to approach when there is rotten meat and / or excrement. It is very common in places like slaughterhouses, garbage dumps, and anywhere decomposing organic matter accumulates..

Other types of flies

Although the above are the most common or popular types of flies, they are not the only ones, since we must remember that this group is made up of thousands of species. Here are some more types of flies:

  • Wood borer fly (Pantophthalmus spp.)
  • Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata)
  • Lesser house fly (Fannia canicularis)
  • Sand fly (Phlebotomus spp.)
  • Horn fly (Haematobia irritans)
  • Drone fly (Eristalis tenax)
  • Crane fly (Tipula paludosa)
  • Flower fly (Syrphus ribesii)
  • Tiger fly (Eristalinus taeniops)
  • Pelucila fly (Volucella pellucens)
  • Thick-legged flying fly (Syritta pipiens)
  • Yellow fly (Laphria flava)
  • Yellow bumblebee fly (Bombylius major)
  • Stiletto fly (Neoitamus cyanurus)
  • Floating fly (Merodon equestris)

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