Information about the Musca Domestica

Information about the Musca Domestica

Life cycle of the Musca Domestica

House flies occur in all seasons and can reproduce all year round. When the fly crawls out of the pupae it takes about three days before it can mate. Mating always takes place on a solid surface and never in the air.

The female can produce a total of more than 900 eggs, which are deposited in smaller groups. The egg is strongly elongated and has a length of about 1,2 millimeters, the egg is white. After eight to 36 hours the eggs hatch and the larvae of the flies hatch, a newborn maggot is smaller than one millimeter and a fully developed maggot is about one and a half centimeters long.

The maggot has three larval stages, which are also called the instars. The first or primary stage is the youngest and the smallest, the larvae moult within a day and the second stage is called the secondary larva and is already clearly larger. The third or tertiary stage of the maggot is the last larval stage. After two moults, the larvae pupate and go through an inactive stage called the pupal stage. When the larva is just pupated the pupa is just like the larva white yellow. After a few hours the pupa turns orange to deep red and an older pupa is black purple.

The life cycle of a housefly varies depend stongly on outside natural circumstances. It varies between 7 and 49 days.

Is the Musca Domestica a safe insect?

All Flies in general are potential carriers of diseases that might be harmful to humans and animals. They carry the bacteria to their feet, wings and body, after they have been on the bacteria-free faeces and waste.

This is also true for the most common insect of all: the housefly. In his natural environment, the housefly is know as a pest fly, omnipresent on faeces and other bacterial waste all over the world. Given this reputation, Amusca has taken many precautions to produce larvae that are considered GMP+ worthy feed.

In the Amusca Insect Breeding Module we start with pupae that have been checked on regular bacterial and viral diseases. In the fly living area and the egg laying unitthe adult flies and the larvae -during the first day of their life only- are fed with human-grade food. We have taken measures to make sure the larvae are not contaminated by harmful bacteria and viruses.

During 2 -4 the larvae are fed separately with GMP+ worthy feed. This feed is also checked on regular virusses and bacteria under the same regulations that apply for feeding this feed to cows or pigs.  In addition, the larvae of the housefly have the unique property of killing bacteria, virusses and fungi by means of, among other things, anti-microbial protein (AMP). 

Our quality and monitoring systems, described in the GMP+ quality system, is designed to safeguard the produced mix in accordance with the current regulations. From the “COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2017/893 of 24 May 2017 amending Annexes I and IV to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Annexes X, XIV and XV to Commission Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 as regards the provisions on processed animal protein” we quote:

Taking into account these national risk assessments, as well as the EFSA opinion of 8 October 2015, the following insect species can be identified as those insect species currently reared in the Union which fulfil the abovementioned safety conditions for insect production for feed use: Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens), Common Housefly (Musca domestica), Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), Lesser Mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus), House cricket (Acheta domesticus), Banded cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) and Field Cricket (Gryllus assimilis)


Taxonomy of a house fly

  • Kingdom:Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Diptera
  • Section: Schizophora
  • Family: Muscidae
  • Genus: Musca
  • Species: Musca Domestica

Housefly mass rearing

The housefly is one of the most proliferous insect species and can easily be cultured at industrial scale. Compared to the black soldier fly (BSF), that is also used for feed and food production, houseflies have a number of specific advantages. Their cosmopolitan distribution makes their application more universal by reducing risk of inadvertent establishment in nature through escape from production facilities. They are small, require little space for culturing, and grow faster and at lower temperatures than the BSF (e.g. 2 weeks at 30°C), which makes their production more efficient.

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