Phorid FlyPhorid (Humpbacked) Flies

Order: Diptera
Family: Phoridae
Scientific Name: Various, Megacelia scalaris most common
Color: Tan to dark brown
Legs: Six
Shape: Humpbacked appearance laterally
Size: Very smalló1/16- to 1/8-inch.
Antennae: Yes
Flight: Yes

The arched thorax of the adult gives the Phorid fly a humpbacked appearance when viewed from the side. They are found throughout the United States.

Some species feed on fungi, while others are parasites of various insects. Larval food consists of moist decaying organic matter. Several species breed in human corpses and are called "coffin flies". The entire life cycle lasts 25 days or more, depending on the environmental conditions and the availability of food.

Characteristically short and erratic flight. Adults have a peculiar habit of rapidly running across windows, TV screens, tables, walls and plant foliage. These flies are frequently mistaken for "gnats." Larvae develop in moist areas where organic material and standing water are present. Phorid larvae also develop in animal matter.

Phorids are primarily a nuisance pest but cases have been reported of Phorid larvae infesting wounds eyes and intestines of humans. Because they like unsanitary places, they may transport various desease-causing organisms to human food. They are of great concern in health care facilities, mausoleums, zoos, and pet stores as weel as homes.

The key to eliminating Phorids is to find and eliminate all breeding sources. Drains should be the initial inspection site when encountering an infestation. The adults are often seen flying in areas located away from the source of infestation.

(Source: National Pest Management Association, et. al.)