How long do flies live?

Flies, we don’t think about them as important or relevant in the animal kingdom, and they might not be, but they still have a function, and they still live amongst us.

This tiny, black insect is known for their very short life span, being able to live only up to 28 days tops, having a very brief life cycle, but being incredibly fertile, which balances things out.

  1. Flies lifespan
    1. How long do flies live in the wild?
    2. How long do flies live in captivity?
    3. Life expectancy of the flies according to the species

Flies lifespan

Like we just said, flies only live up to 28 days. Their life cycle is extremely fast and short, making them a few of the insects in the animal kingdom with such a small life expectancy.

However, flies can reproduce extremely fast, and a female fly can easily lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, eggs that quickly become full on grown flies, which is why, even when they have a very short lifespan, there are so many of them everywhere in the world.

It is important to mention that even when there are many types of flies, they all tend to have a very similar life expectancy. This causes flies to grow in a matter of hours, reaching a sexually mature "age" just in 14 hours.

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How long do flies live in the wild?

Flies, unlike most animals, don’t really have a wild environment where they can usually be found, meaning they can be anywhere in the world, expect for cold sites.

This means flies usually live in places that experience warmer weather, however, their population significantly decreases whenever the temperatures drop, causing flies to be less visible during those months.

To put it simply, flies can live almost anywhere in the world as long as they are in a warm weather, otherwise, they won’t be able to survive (this is why you don’t get to see flies during the winter time!)

How long do flies live in captivity?

Believe it or not, flies tend to live more in the wild than in captivity. Although their lifespan is short, flies are commonly used for all types of scientific experiments, which of course, decreases their lifespan.

How long do flies live?

Meanwhile they could live up to 28 days in the wild (considering they don’t get killed by humans or eaten by frogs), their lifespan in captivity is actually much shorter.

In captivity, flies can live anywhere from a week to even less, depending on the type of experiment, of course. Now, if kept in the perfect warm condition, and with no natural predators around, flies can actually live up to 30 days.

Life expectancy of the flies according to the species

Small fruit flies (Drosophila)

Can live from 26 to 30 days.

Botflies, warble flies, heel flies or gadflies (Oestridae)

Can live up to 9 months (but only as a larva, once they fully develop can only live up to 28 days).

Hoverflies, flower flies or syrphid flies (Syrphidae)

Can live up to 30 days.

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