; order Diptera, suborder Cyclorrapha)
Family of small to large flies, all of similar appearance, most of which can be distinguished from the similar Tachinidae and Calliphoridae families by their lack of hypopleural bristles. Musca domestica is typical of the family. The female fly selects faeces or other organic refuse as a medium on which eggs are laid in masses of 100–150. The larvae feed on the substrate and pupate after eight days at 30°C. The speed of development and potential for increase make the housefly a formidable pest. The adult fly is a well-documented carrier of many human-disease organisms because of its preferred habitat and its association with human dwellings. The destruction of breeding sites and the fly-proofing of premises are the best means of control. Other species include several that are haematophagous (feeding on blood), e.g. of the genus Stomoxys (stable flies). More than 3800 species occur throughout the world.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.