Phorid (Hunchback) Fly

Phorid (Hunchback) Fly

Scientific Name: Family Phoridae

How to identify a Phorid Fly

Adult Phorid flies are small to minute in size 0.5 – 5.5mm with a relatively large thorax, hence the common name of “Hunchback” flies.  They are most often black or brown though some are yellowish. Phorid flies are strong fliers and often associated with dead animals and decaying vegetation.

Where are phorid flies commonly found?

The hunchback fly larvae are commonly found in large numbers in decomposing organic matter and scavenging in carrion. The flies can be found on premises around pot plants or garden beds. Because they are so small, they can breed in cracks or even mop heads.

Why are phorid flies considered a pest?

Due to the materials that Phorid flies feed on they can potentially spread a wide variety of diseases however, they are mainly considered a nuisance pest.

What is the biology and lifecycle of a phorid fly?

Females lay approximately 20 eggs per batch, twice every 12 hours, and can lay up to 500 eggs. Eggs are laid in moist organic material or standing water. Larvae emerge within 24 hours and the life cycle from egg to adult can take between 14 – 37 hours.

Management Tips for Hunchback Flies

The key to controlling phorid flies is finding the breeding sites and removing them by proper cleaning practices. Phorid flies, like other types of small flies, can be difficult to totally eliminate because they can breed in such small amounts of organic matter. A number of breeding sites can be found and eliminated while others may easily be overlooked. The inspection needs to focus on finding all sites where moist organic material has accumulated and then removing that matter completely.

On occasion, leaking drains under slabs or in subfloor areas can result in huge phorid fly populations in homes, restaurants or other buildings. All leaking drains need to be repaired. If the wet, contaminated soil is not removed and replaced with fresh, dry soil, the phorid fly problem will persist.


© Globe Pest Solutions 2023, a division of Australian Agribusiness