The flies are insects Diptera (two – winged) that can be of various colors such as yellow, green and black. They have elliptical heads, transparent wings formed by crossings of nerves, an elongated trunk-shaped mouth, long legs with suction cups and tiny nails, and peculiar eyes with striking features.

What are flies for?

Man has found various uses in flies since ancient times and over time. In ancient Rome, the larvae were used to ablate rotten wounds .

In addition, flies have a very important ecological function. They are able to pollinate flowers , as well as bees, and transform carrion into protein that will provide its nitrogen to nourish the earth.

Flies are part of the food chain, being prey for spiders, reptiles, amphibians, fish and other insects.

Their nature, which leads them to approach decomposing matter, can be a good tool for the field of criminology , in which the presence of certain species is measured, and the life span to know the time elapsed since a death.

One negative aspect of flies is that they transmit disease . This is natural since the debris they hover over carries a load of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, which are pathogenic to humans.

Flies are used to:

  • In the form of larvae, for the ablation of rotten wounds
  • As food for larger insects
  • As food for other species, such as amphibians, reptiles, and fish
  • As indicators of the decomposition of a body in criminology
  • As agents of degradation of rotten food, for its reincorporation into the soil

How are the flies?

Common flies, from the Muscidae family , are identified as such by people, but insects from close families such as Calliphoridae or Sarcophagidae , are rather called blowflies , given their large size, their body with abundant fur and the low and even audible hum they produce. Other diptera are given specific names, such as horseflies and mosquitoes.

The body of the housefly ( Muscidae and close families), like that of the rest of the Diptera, is divided into three tagmas or sections : head, thorax and abdomen.

Their eyes are made up of thousands of facers that are very sensitive to light and that individually perceive their surroundings. These facets are constantly cleaned by its front legs.

They feed with their long mouth that is adapted to suck and pierce what they are going to eat, but they are not capable of biting . Some flies are capable of biting to expand the range of food they can eat.

Although they have four wings, flies only have two of them functional , since the hind wings are reduced to structures called halteres or rockers , which act as stabilizing organs for flight and balance.

Their bodies are covered by numerous sensory silks , with which they can taste, smell, feel. The silks of the mouthparts and the legs are used to perceive the flavors. Flies savor what they step on, and so, when they step on something they like, they lower their elongated mouths and start to taste it again.

How do they develop?

Flies are homometabolic, so they have four different morphological stages ; egg, larva (cresa or chrysalis), nymph and adult stage. After hatching, the larvae molt into a maggot. The larvae have a soft, legless body with dark hooks on the mouth. The nymphs are already dark, and have a cylindrical shape.

The larvae feed on organic plant and animal waste, such as spoiled meat and other waste. Adult flies eat all kinds of substances, from sugars, nectar, and even spoiled fruit and meat.

Flies can live in virtually every climate on the planet , from the desert to the glacier at the poles. They adapt very well in the tropics, subtropics and temperate. In addition, they can live at all heights , from the coasts to the high mountains.

Dead animals and other organic waste attract flies, within hours of being generated. They will hover around the body or waste, looking for a soft morsel to feed on.

Flies will never be seen at night, since they are diurnal animals, and they do not go out to look for food in the wee hours. They take refuge in nooks and crannies of buildings that allow them to reproduce, shelter and protect themselves from predators.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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