From the Diptera Order, flies and mosquitoes top the charts of the most annoying insects. They buzz around, making sudden movements and irritating sounds, much to the frustration of their victims. However, be that as it may, flies are as crucial as any other creature in the ecosystem.
They are a food source for other species, such as frogs and spiders. Also, flies consume rotting organic matter, so people don’t have to. The absence of these annoying insects would be a massive blow to the ecosystem. Here are more fly facts.
1. They Taste with Their Feet
Flies and butterflies have chemonsensilla on their feet, allowing them to taste their food. This gives them the freedom to land, quickly taste potential food, and fly away if it’s not suitable. It also plays a massive role in avoiding predation.
2. Gauromydas heros Is The World’s Biggest Fly
A fly measuring 0.1 to 1 inch long is considered “normal.” However, the Gauromydas heros species can grow to 3 inches long, with its wing spanning up to 4 inches. It has held the position of the world’s biggest fly for some time. Scientists have since “unearthed” other species that might rival the Gauromydas heros, but none has officially done so.
Fortunately, the Gauromydas heros do not bite or sting. Instead, they mimic other stinging insects, such as wasps, to shield themselves from predators.
3. Flies Survive Majorly on Liquid Diet
Flies do not have teeth or any significant organs for chewing their food. For survival, these insects use enzymes to convert solid food substances into liquids for smooth consumption. They also have tongues that help them suck their food.
4. Flies Can rapidly Flap Their Wings
Flies are known for their smooth maneuvers, front and backward, thanks to their lightweight wings. Species such as fruit flies can flap their winds up to 200 cycles per second, making it easy to pull their acrobatic stunts and avoid danger.
Scientists attribute this to the evolution of an asynchronous nervous system that most flies have. Through it, they can oscillate their thoraxes quicker than the nerve impulse rates, hence the faster wing flaps.
5. A Fly’s Diet is Uncouth
A fly will feed on any decaying material. From fruits to vegetables to meat and corpses, it does not discriminate. Flies also feed on waste materials such as feces and dustbin materials. They are more active during the day and rest during the night.
Given the food they feed on, flies can spread diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, anthrax, and diarrhea.
6. They Can See Behind Them Without Turning
Flies have compound eyes, meaning they can see what’s behind them without turning their heads. With an almost 360-degree field of view, flies can easily detect danger and fly away. Research also shows that most fly species have better vision than humans.
7. Flies Have a Very Short Lifespan
Depending on the species, a fly can only survive for up to a month. However, their fast reproduction rates ensure that there is no shortage of offspring all year round. In fact, male flies are always on the lookout for mating partners.
Estimates show that a female fruit fly can lay about 500 eggs in a short span. Assuming about 3-quarter of the eggs hatch, you can see why infestation can quickly get out of hand.
8. More Than 120,000 Species of Flies Are Available
While the number of fly species is unclear, most sources and entomologists agree that over 120,000 exist. The number could rise to even a million species, with houseflies, fruit flies, and mosquitoes being the most common.
9. A Group of Flies Is Called a Swarm
The “one word for many” of a group of flies is “swarm.” However, you can still refer to them as a cloud or business of flies and still be correct. They derive the name “swarm” from their overall swarming behavior (especially the males).
10. Flies Can Aid in Investigations
Since flies love decomposing bodies, authorities have used them to estimate how long human bodies have rotted. The investigators studied the amount of flies in the crime scene and were able to retrieve helpful information. However, this was done in the 13th century, so it may not be viable today.