Adult phorid flies have an arched thorax that gives them a humpbacked appearance. This feature earned phorid flies the nickname "humpbacked flies." They’re also known by other nicknames such as coffin flies and scuttle flies. The nickname “coffin flies” is because they favor decaying, moist organic material as both a source of food and for laying eggs. They are found near corpses and are sometimes used by the forensic community to help estimate a person’s time of death or when a burial occurred. The name “scuttle flies” comes from their habit of running rapidly across a surface when disturbed, rather than taking flight. Phorid flies may be easily mistaken for fruit flies or drain flies. Certain species of phorid flies are also used as biological control agents of fire ants.
|Color||Usually black or dull brown, but sometimes yellowish in color|
|Size||Length of 0.5 - 6 mm (1⁄64 - 1⁄4 in)|
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