T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fly (Stable fly) Stomoxys calcitrans

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Muscidae
Subfamily: Muscinae
Tribe: Stomoxyini
Genus: Stomoxys
Species: S. calcitrans
Binomial name: Stomoxys calcitrans
Common names: Stable fly (not Horse fly), Barn fly, Biting house fly, Dog fly, Power mower fly

Stomoxys calcitrans is a filth fly of worldwide medical and veterinary importance and is now found worldwide. Unlike most members of the family Muscidae, Stomoxys calcitrans suck blood from mammals, usually cattle and horses but in their absence, they will bite people and dogs.

The stable fly resembles the common housefly (Musca domestica), though smaller, and on closer examination has a slightly wider and spotted abdomen. Adults are generally about 6-7mm in length and a lighter colour than the housefly. Unlike the housefly, where the mouth part is adapted for sponging, the stable fly mouthparts have biting structures. They deliver a painful bite. In many parts of the world, this species is a carrier of parasites and diseases,

During the daytime, the adults of both sexes feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals including humans. For egg production, the female requires its abdomen to be engorged with blood. The female takes approximately 2–5 minutes to engorge, after which it becomes sluggish for a while. The adult female lays up to 50 small off-white, 1 mm long, sausage-shaped eggs on faecal material, decaying animal or plant waste such hay, manure, silage, rotting hay and grass clippings. Males usually die after mating and the females die after laying her eggs. 

The maggot-shaped (vermiform) to pupal stage takes about 12 to 21 days. The third instar larval skin hardens to form a puparium that is reddish-brown and capsule-like. The larva then forms a pupa inside the puparium. The puparium is 4.5-6 mm in length and wider at the head end. A complete lifecycle takes 3 to 6 weeks.

Overseas research is being conducted with the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni that parasitoids this flies pupae.




Thanks to Wikipedia for text and Information: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/