Life cycle of the Brachycera (Orthorrhapha)

Life cycle of a horse fly


Eggs are usually laid close to water on objects such as stones or vegetation.

The larvae usually develop in soil where they prey on a variety of other invertebrates.

The life cycle of some species can take up to three years.

The pupal stage is short and the strong-flying adults soon emerge.


Males are vegetarians feeding mainly on nectar.

Females need a blood meal for the development of eggs.

Most species adults only live for approximately one month


The adult fly emerges from a straight or T-shaped suture on the back of the pupa.

Feeding on decaying organic matter.