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The NaturePlus Forums will be offline from mid August 2018. The content has been saved and it will always be possible to see and refer to archived posts, but not to post new items. This decision has been made in light of technical problems with the forum, which cannot be fixed or upgraded.

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About true flies

Flesh-fly, Sarcophaga carnaria

True flies include crane-flies, mosquitoes, midges, horse-flies, hover-flies, blow-flies and house-flies.

Unlike the majority of insects flies do not possess the usual two pairs of wings but have only a single, membranous pair.

Some families of flies, such as hover-flies, are brightly coloured and conspicuous. These are often seen feeding on flowers.

Adult flies feed on liquids including fluids from decaying animals, plants and animal dung, nectar and the blood of birds and mammals. A handful of species associated with humans and farming practices are able to spread bacterial diseases. Many others are a nuisance in high numbers, particularly the biting species of mosquitoes, midges and horse-flies.

The larvae of the majority of fly species play a vital role in the decomposition of dead animals and plants

Number of UK species: about 6,600

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