Flyday: Moth flies

Is it a moth? Is it a fly? Well, since it is flyday, you know it has got to be a fly!

These unusual flies (family Psychodidae) are adapted to live in drains and sewers. I guess the latin family name is well-chosen… They are small, hairy flies and easily overlooked. That’s a shame, because they posses some incredible characteristics.


Moth flies are beneficial, in that they cut hair and sludge waste to pieces thus preventing clogs. Larvae also prevent bad odours, by eating bacteria that cause these smells. Their “fur” protects them from drowning and other water-borne toxins like bleach. They can also cope with extreme conditions, like high temperatures and low oxygen levels.

In large numbers they might form a mild annoyance for those who don’t like to surround themselves with flies. But they do not carry any diseases like some other flies do. Even better, in places where there are moth flies, stinging mosquitoes are rare. They are widespread despite their lousy flying abilities, so you can find them all over the world.

I hope you enjoyed meeting this unusual fly. Be sure to come back next week for another Flyday!


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