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(typical muscids), a family of insects of the order Diptera. The body length measure 2–15 mm. The coloration is usually dark; more rarely it is yellow or with a dark blue or green metallic sheen. The body is covered with hairs and setae. There are about 5,000 species, which are widely distributed in all parts of the world. In the Palearctic there are more than 800 species.
Most of the Muscidae feed on decomposing organic matter, on plant juices, on manure, and on human feces; however, some are predators and still others are bloodsuckers. The majority of Muscidae deposit eggs, as many as 2,000 in a lifetime; a few species are viviparous. The larvae develop in decomposing organic matter, in manure, and, occasionally, in living tissues of plants and animals. In some species the larvae are predators, mostly feeding on the larvae of coprophagous flies. Other Muscidae larvae parasitize the Acridoidea and the Aculeata.
There are more than 50 species living commensally with man, for example, the housefly (Musca domestica), the market fly, (Musca sorbens), and the stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans). These species are carriers of causative agents of diseases that infect man and animals, such as cholera, dysentery, certain eye diseases, anthrax, and trypanosomiases. Certain larvae of Muscidae cause myiases in man and animals; others are herbivorous and damage cultivated plants. The herbivorous larvae include the cabbage-root maggot (Hlemyia brassicae), the onion maggot (Hyelemyia antiqua), the beet leaf-miner (Pegomyia hyosciami), and the seed-corn maggot (Hyelemyia cilicrura). Control of pest species of Muscidae involves the strict observance of sanitary and hygienic laws in populated areas. Spraying of breeding grounds and domestic premises with various insecticides is highly effective.
REFERENCESZimin, L. S. Sem. Muscidae: Nastoiashchie mukhi (Triby Muscini Stomoxydini). Moscow-Leningrad, 1951. (Fauna SSSR: Nasekomye dvukrylye, vol. 18, fasc. 4.)
Zimin L. S., and K. Iu. El’berg. “Sem. Muscidae—Nastoiashchie mukhi.” In Opredelitel nasekomykh Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 5, part 2. Leningrad, 1970.
V. F. ZAITSEV