Scientific Name

Pollenia rudis

Common Name

Cluster Flies

Fun Fact

Flies have over 4,000 lenses on their eyes.


Adult cluster flies are slightly larger than the common house fly. They are dull-gray with black markings and have golden-yellow hairs on the thorax, which can give the appearance of a golden sheen. These medium-sized insects are 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in length. The hairs are more numerous on the under side of the thorax between and near the legs. Another noticeable feature of the Cluster Fly is the way its wings are held flat over its back while resting; the wing tips overlap when held in this position. The immature stages, egg and larva, are seldom seen as the eggs are deposited on the soil and the larva or maggots burrow into earthworms on which they feed. The maggots are cream colored and are an elongated wedge shape.