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  • Small House Fly - (Fannia spp.)

    Small House Fly - (Fannia spp.)

    Small House Flies are annoying because they are attracted to food and toilets, but their affinity for corpses makes they quite useful to Forensic Entomologists.


    Picture of Small House Fly


    Staff Writer (8/28/2014): Male Small House Flies form swarms in the summer. Females lay their eggs in animal/human feces or on dead and decaying animal tissue. For this reason, one species (F. scalaris) is also known as the Latrine Fly and is considered a potential harbinger of disease because after landing on feces, they land on food as well.

    Though they are half the size and much thinner than a normal House Fly (Musca domestica), the Small House Fly shares similar traits. The life cycle of F. scalaris is well-known and the maggots (larvae) develop on feces or decaying tissue. Forensic scientists use this knowledge to gauge the amount of time a corpse has been decomposing. Identifying which part of the life cycle the maggots/flies are in when they are found on a body helps calculate when the person died.

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    Details of the:
    Small House Fly


    Category: Fly or Mosquito
    Common name: Small House Fly
    Scientific Name: Fannia spp.
    Other Names: Latrine Fly

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Diptera
          Family: Muscidae
           Genus: Fannia
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 1mm to 5mm (0.04in to 0.20in)

    Identifying Colors: black; red

    Additional Descriptors: tiny; hairy; flying


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.