This common fly breeds in manure and may also occur in poor mushroom-house compost where bacterial decomposition is underway. Its pres ence in mushroom houses, therefore, is an indication of unsuitable growing conditions. Although the larvae are saprophytic and entirely harmless, the adult flies may inadvertently transfer harmful organisms to healthy mushroom beds. The small, black-bodied adults are often mistaken for scuttle flies (especially as they scurry over the compost surface in a phorid-like manner, see p. 177) but are readily distinguished by the presence of cross-veins in the wings, by other details of the wing venation and by their very short, swollen hind metatarsi.
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