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Stable Fly
(Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,
Common Name: Stable Fly

Order: Diptera

Family: Muscidae

Pest Status: Stable flies are biting flies that can become serious pests of cattle and other animals.

Appearance: The stable fly resembles the house fly, but is more robust and aggressive. It is about 1/3-inch long with four distinct, dark, longitudinal stripes on the thorax and several dark spots on the abdomen.

Life Cycle: The females deposit their eggs in loose organic material usually associated with soggy hay or feed, or in piles of moist, fermenting grass. The eggs hatch in two to five days into larvae which feed and mature in two weeks. They transform into red-brown pupal cases from which the adult flies emerge. The average life cycle is 28 days.

Where to Collect: Stable flies are easy to find flying near and biting livestock. They are fast fliers and usually require a net to capture them.