Pictures of Flies and Other Observations
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Flies: The Life History of the Fly

Flies in General

Everyday Housefly
Tiger Mosquito, Yellow Jack, and the Panama Canal
Scourge of the Medfly
The Grey Flesh Fly (1913) by Jean-Henri Fabre
Beneficial, Medical Use of Maggots
Death of the Fly
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iStudy Flies - Flies in General: Form and Function



Form and Function

The body of the fly consists of: (1) head, (2) thorax, and (3) abdomen. The head houses the brain, body of a flyantennae, eyes, and mouthparts. A sticky liquid is secreted by the pulvilli -- hairy pads on each of its six legs -- allowing the fly to cling or run upside down.
[22] True flies have one pair of flying wings, but also have a tiny set of knobbed organs called halteres or balancers for in-flight stability. The halteres vibrate in synchronization with the wings; and, when the pitch, yaw, or roll of the fly changes, the halteres gyroscopically send signals to correct its flight attitude. Most flies have eyes that constitute most of the surface area of the head, but some parasitic flies have no eyes at all. While flies suck their food, there appears to be a few flies that do not feed as adults. Whether short horn or long, whiplike antennae (plural; antenna, singular), most all flies have antennae. The adult female biting midge, mosquito, and black fly must have blood protein from their host to supplement larval nutrition, without which their eggs cannot be laid. [23]

Since the female blowfly is capable of laying one to two thousand eggs, it would be a great calamity to sheep ranchers, if more than a few of the blowfly larvae (maggots) survived to emerge as adult sheep blowflies.
[24] Blowflies such as the sheep blowfly of Australia are very effective in the role of accelerating the breakdown of the bodies of dead sheep and returning their nutrients to the ground; however, the opportunistic sheep blowflies have been so successful that they have been breeding on live sheep, resulting in deaths, lost production, and treatment costs of over $100 million per year. [25] Environmental controls are the most effective for the control of flies, e.g., clearing of brush habitat, but control by insecticide or the release of natural parasites is normally needed to further reduce the fly population. For example, if sterilized male tsetse flies -- which have been exposed to gamma radiation in the laboratory -- are released to mate, they not only will produce no offspring, but the female tsetse fly, which breeds only once, is then rendered effectively sterile. Thus, a treated area becomes totally eradicated of tsetse flies. [26]


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