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Pest Information

Cheese Skipper

Cheese Skipper

  • Latin Name: Piophila casei
  • Common Name: Cheese Skipper
  • Latin Family Name: Piophilidae
  • Other Names: Ham skipper

Pest Details

Cheese Skipper
Cheese Skipper
Cheese Skipper

Origin:

European or Asian in origin, but now found throughout the world.

Biology:

The name “skipper” comes from the ability of the larvae to hop or skip as it moves. They feed on meats and cheeses, and are a serious pest in many parts of the world. They also may be found feeding in cadavers, fungus, dried bones, and many other odd circumstances. The proper storage of meats and cheeses now has resulted in this fly pest being of minor importance in the U.S. The female breeds immediately upon her emergence from the pupa, and lays up to 500 eggs in and around larval food sources. It is the larva which feeds on the meat or cheese materials. Its ability to snap its body into the air to move can allow it to jump up to 10 inches horizontally, although its usual movement is by slowly creeping across a surface. Prior to pupation the larva leaves the food source and finds a protected crevice in which to pupate. The entire life cycle takes about 2 weeks, and the adults live for less than one week.

Identification:

Adult flies are only 3 to 4 mm long, a shiny black color, with reddish eyes, and with the wings held flat over the abdomen while at rest.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Proper storage of meat and cheese products is crucial for prevention of this fly. When adult flies are present these sources or others, such as fungi, dead animals, or decaying materials should be inspected for and eliminated where found.

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