Pictures of Flies and Other Observations
Pictures of Flies
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
Fly Related Links

iStudy Flies - Flies in General: Introduction




Ancients worshipped the idol of Baal, who was represented as a fly; hence, Baal was called the Lord of the Flies -- partly because large

robber fly
Robber fly
Image source: Pictures of Flies
& Other Observations

Biting Midge
Image source: Scott Bauer &
Richard Nunamaker,

numbers of flies were attracted to the sacrificed animals. [8] Our purpose, however, is to better appreciate such a large part of our planet's ecosystem. To begin, most other insects have two sets of wings, but true flies are strictly and only those species of Diptera with only one set of wings; hence, di- two, ptera- wings. While the housefly is a true fly of the order of Diptera, the firefly is actually a kind of beetle. [9]

In 2005, some 120,000 kinds of flies have been identified, while there are estimates of more than 1,000,000 species living today, according to research entomologist, Dr. F. Christian Thompson, of the USDA.
[10] Our knowledge of insects has evidently grown so quickly that an earlier estimate by Harold Oldroyd -- Senior Principal Scientific Officer, British Museum (Natural History) London, and author of the only comprehensive account of flies in English, The Natural History of Flies (Norton, 1964) -- calculated that there were between 60,000 and 100,000 species of flies in an entry, "Fly," in the Encyclopedia Americana (2001). [11]

Flies can be as large as the robber fly (7 centimeters or 2.76 inches long) and as small as a midge (1 millimeter).
[12] With a body length of about 1/4 inch (0.64 cm), a thousand adult flies would weigh less than an ounce. The tongue (hypopharynx) of the fly is coated with a sticky glue; and, their body and padded feet bristle with hairs, to which clings dirt, dust, and bacteria that easily contaminate their landing surfaces. [13]


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