The stable flies look like over-sized houseflies, which are 6.5 mm long, greyish-brown with dark markings and short checkered abdomen. Both sexes suck blood of mammals. Mouth parts are piercing and sucking type and prominent. When at rest wings are kept at an angle. Average life span is about 20 days with a maximum of about 2 months.
They breed in decaying grass, horse dung or manure where the eggs are laid which hatch in 1-5 days. Female fecundity is about 800 eggs per female. Larvae resemble housefly larvae and feed and grow in horse dung. Pupae are formed in dry places.
Stable flies transmit the following pathogens that cause a variety of diseases like SURRA disease of horses.