House Flies - Muscidae

To identify flies to family level use a simple wing venation key such as A Key to the Families of British Diptera, an AIDGAP by D. Unwin, published by the FSC and available as a free download (scroll down to the titles list) or a more detailed key which includes many physical characters such as The European Families of the Diptera by P. Oosterbroek. The expert dipterists on the DipteraInfo forum are also very happy to identify, often to species level, from good photographs.

The House Fly family contains about 575 species in Europe, most of them grey or blackish. They range in size from 2 mm to 18 mm. Most have larvae which feed on decaying matter, and many species are synanthropic (associated with man and human habitation). Most of the adults feed on nectar, but a few are predatory or feed on blood or other bodily fluids.

Noon Fly Mesembrina meridiana: Often seen basking in the sun, especially on umbellifers. Found in woods and hedgerows, breeds in dung. Adults active from March to October (November). Don't confuse this species with the black and yellow Giant Tachinid Fly Tachina grossa, which is a somewhat more robust and hairy species with a completely yellow head, not just a yellow face.
A Noon Fly nectaring on Ivy Hedera helix is joined by the blow fly Stomorhina lunata (above) and the drone fly Eristalis sp to the right.

A Noon Fly is joined on flowering Ivy Hedera helix by (from left to right) the parasitic fly Peleteria varia, an Urban Blow Fly Calliphora vicina and two drone flies Eristalis sp.
Graphomya maculata (la Graphomyie tachetée in French) female is joined on Ivy Hedera helix flowers by the blow fly Stomorhina lunata Calliphoridae. Graphomya is in the sub-family Muscinae, which have a bend in their main wing vein, unlike other Muscidae. The adults are active from May to October and usually seen on umbellifers. The larvae are predatory, living in damp leaf litter and mud.

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