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Stable Fly (Insect Pests of Livestock)

University of Hawaii
Publication Date
  • Stomoxys Calcitrans
  • Animal Parasites And Pests
  • Hawaii
  • Religious Science


Stable fly Published by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Andrew G. Hashimoto, Director/Dean, Cooperative Extension Service/CTAHR, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822. An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Institution providing programs and services to the people of Hawaii without regard to race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, or veteran status. CTAHR publications can be found on the Web site <> or ordered by calling 808-956-7046 or sending e-mail to [email protected] Livestock Management Insect Pests Sept. 2003, LM-10.4 Stomoxys calcitrans Linnaeus Origin The stable fly was first recorded in Hawaii in 1901. Now it is widespread over all of the Hawaiian islands Hosts Male and female adults ingest the blood of domestic animals, poultry, and man. Larvae feed on fecal material mixed with straw, organic matter, or spoiled hay. Public health concern The stable fly can irritate people by its vicious attacks and they cause a painful bite. Livestock concern The stable fly in large numbers can cause weight gain reductions in cattle because they cluster together and won’t feed when being attacked. Bite wounds in horses can lead to secondary infections and transmit pathogens. They tend to bite livestock on the legs and belly. Description Medium size fly 3⁄16–3⁄8 inches long with four black stripes down its gray back. Unlike the house fly, it has a checkerboard of dark spots on the dorsum of its abdomen. Can be recognized by its stout black proboscis used to pierce the skin and suck blood. Life cycle Growth stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult Entire cycle from egg to adult takes from 20–25 days. Eggs are laid in irregular masses of up to 90 on

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