Phorid flies, (family Phoridae) also known as humpbacked flies, are small and very much resemble fruit flies in appearance, however the Phorid fly lacks the red eye colour that is the classic trademark of the Fruit fly (Tephritidae) and Vinegar Fly (Drosophila melanigaster).
Phorid flies are up to 4mm in length, fitting into the â€śsmallâ€ť category of flies.
Color: Black through to tan brown with black eyes; small head; a severely arched (humpbacked) thorax when viewed from the side. Phorid flies are found throughout the world.
Viewed with the naked eye, the most recognisable and a significant characteristic is their tendency to run rapidly across surfaces instead of immediately flying when disturbed. All other species of flies will immediately take flight.
Phorid flies are commonly found in homes and commercial facilities where food is prepared and served. They are also significantly important pests in food storage areas and hospitals. Because these flies frequent unsanitary and filthy conditions, they are a potential health concern when they occur in food facilities and hospitals. The main concern is their ability to spread disease-causing bacteria onto food products.
There have been reports of Phorid fly larvae have been discovered in the open wounds of patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
Several species have the common name of the coffin fly, because they breed in human corpses, and can even continue their life cycle within buried coffins. For this reason they
are important in forensic entomology in determining time of death.