Musca autumnalis

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Musca autumnalis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Tiia Monto
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Musca autumnalis De Geer, 1776 - (face fly)

The species is wide-spread in the northern hemisphere. It is native to Eurasia and has become established in northern parts of North America in the 1940s. The fly is common on cattle and horses and feeds on eye excretions, nasal discharges, saliva and blood from open wounds. It also transmits various cattle diseases like eyeworm, Thelazia rhodesi (a nematode), infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (pinkeye) or Moraxella bovis (a bacterial disease).

Musca autumnalis infestation (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series - IPM Images

Adult flies can disperse several hundred kilometers in a single season, as observed after the introduction of the fly in North America. Mark-recapture studies showed that a distance of about ½ km is covered in a day.

The larvae develop in fresh cattle dung and abundant breeding sites can result in high population densities. The mature larvae exit the dung for pupation. The life cycle from egg, through 4 larval stages, to adult lasts around 2-3 weeks.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Stallfliege
• English: face fly
• Français: mouche faciale

The adult resembles house flies and is 5-8 mm long, grey with 4 darker longitudinal stripes on the thorax and with a grey-black patterned abdomen. Females have the eyes closer together, compared to house flies, and males have more orange on the abdomen.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.