The Housefly (Musca domestica) is a common worldwide insect in the Muscidae family of true flies.
The Housefly has a head, thorax (chest), and abdomen (stomach). It is black with four dark, longitudinal lines from its head to its tail. Its body and legs are slightly hairy. It has large, red, compound eyes. Near the compound eyes are three small simple eyes, called ocelli, and a pair of short antennae. It has six legs and one pair of membraneous (transparent) wings. Its mouthpart has a proboscis to suck liquid.
It can grow to 6-7 millimetres (a quarter of an inch) long, with a wingspan of 1.5 centimetres (half an inch).
The Housefly is found all over the world, from the Arctic Circle to the tropics to the mountains. There are many different species of the Housefly.
The Housefly feeds on liquid and food. It uses saliva to spit on food to soften it, which it then sucks up its proboscis into its mouth.
The female lays about 100 white eggs on decaying organic matter, such as food, dead animals (carrion), or manure. After one day, the eggs hatch into white larvae, called maggots. Maggots like warm, damp, dark places. After about two weeks, the maggots become pupae (similar to a cocoon). After 2-5 days, adult flies emerge.
The stages, or life cycle, from an egg to an adult fly, is called metamorphosis (it means complete change).
The lifespan of a Housefly is about 2-4 weeks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM