Phoridae

Pronunciation:  [FOUR·i⋅dae]

Common Name:  Scuttle Flies;  Coffin Flies

Description:   Phorids are small (6 mm or less) with a hump-backed profile and a small head.   They are usually black, brown or yellowish in color.   The femora of the hind legs are distinctly flattened.   Wing venation is reduced:  weak medial veins branch off a heavy radial vein that ends near the midpoint of the wing’s leading edge.   Scuttle flies are evidently named for their habit of running rather than flying when they are disturbed.   Adults feed on various products of decay as well as honeydew, nectar, and dead insects; larvae may be herbivores, fungivores, scavengers, predators, or parasites.

phorid01

Spot ID Key Characters:

  1. Body hump-backed in profile with a small head
  2. Hind femora enlarged and flattened
  3. A heavy radial vein ends near midpoint of wing’s leading edge;  branching veins are weak; crossveins are absent

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Order:  Diptera