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.
Common name: Small House Fly
Scientific Name: Fannia spp.
Other Names: Latrine Fly
Adult Size (Length): 1mm to 5mm (0.04in to 0.20in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: black; red
General Description: 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 insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.