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Interesting facts about the housefly

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We found 22 interesting facts about the housefly

Domestic musca

This is one of the most common insects on Earth. It can be found in almost every corner of the planet. This species of housefly is believed to have originated in areas of the Middle East during the early Cenozoic, a period that began 66 million years ago and continues to this day. The housefly has spread throughout the globe due to human migration and settlement.

This is probably the most common insect in the world.

It is found in all populated parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas, in the Arctic and in tropical equatorial forests, where it is very abundant.

The housefly is a small insect measuring 6–7 mm.

Wingspan 13-15 mm. The female fly is larger than the male.

Each leg ends with a pair of claws and a fold.

The bevel is an adhesive protrusion that allows the fly to move along walls using the so-called Van der Waals Force. This effect consists of the mutual attraction of electrons and nuclei in molecules, in particular between a permanent dipole and an induced dipole excited by molecules forming adhesion.

The housefly's abdomen is dark gray and covered with darker stripes.

The underside of the body is lighter than the top.

Flies have licking mouthparts.

It is used to absorb liquids and solids previously dissolved by saliva.

Flies' eyes provide a 360° field of vision.

They are brownish-reddish, have compound eyes and consist of about four thousand ommatidia.

They are primarily carnivorous and feed on decaying organic matter.

Both adults and larvae can be found on rotting vegetables, fruits, meat, vegetables and plant secretions. Adults also feed on flower nectar. Solid food is softened by saliva before being absorbed.

Houseflies play an important ecological role in the breakdown and recycling of organic matter.

By feeding on feces and carrion, flies contribute to their faster decomposition.

During flight, a fly flaps its wings approximately 200 times per minute.

These insects do not develop breakneck speed; they move at a speed of 8 km/h.

Due to their cold-blooded nature, they are most active in warm conditions.

The desire for warmth explains why flies so willingly find refuge in people's homes. In temperate regions, 12 generations can hatch in a year, and in the tropics and subtropics - more than 20.

The female lays about a hundred eggs at a time.

The laying process can take several days and a female housefly can lay up to 2000 eggs in her lifetime, although this number usually does not exceed 500.

Housefly eggs have a diameter of about 2,5 mm.

Most likely, they are deposited in pig feces, where up to 15 larvae can hatch in one kilogram of substrate. 000 hours after laying eggs, the larvae hatch and feed on the liquid fraction of the substrate. The quality and freshness of the substrate affect the development rate of these insects.

The larvae of flies are called maggots.

They are white, legless organisms that feed on organic matter where they hatch. After hatching, they avoid light. Larval development takes anywhere from two weeks in optimal conditions to 30 days or more in cooler conditions.

The housefly larva goes through three stages of development.

At the end of the third instar, the larvae crawl into a cool, dry place and develop into pupae. The pupa has a cylindrical shape with rounded ends. It reaches a length of about 1,2 mm and consists of the last shed skin of the larva. At first it is yellowish, darkens over time and changes from red and brown to almost black.

Metamorphosis of the pupa at a temperature of 35°C lasts from two to six days.

At 14°C, transformation may take more than twenty days. After emerging from the cocoon, the fly stops growing and reaches its maximum size. The housefly pupa weighs from 8 to 20 milligrams.

The size of a fly does not indicate its age.

A large or small fly only indicates whether the insect was feeding properly during the larval stage.

Adult houseflies live from two weeks to a month.

Individuals bred in laboratory conditions live even longer. Males reach sexual maturity 16 hours after hatching, and females 24 hours later.

Under optimal conditions, the fly's life cycle can be completed within seven to ten days after hatching.

Under less favorable conditions, it can be extended to two months.

They become victims of many animals.

They are a staple on the menu of birds, reptiles, amphibians, spiders and other insects. Eggs, larvae and pupae are most at risk of parasitism.

Rot beetles feed on fly larvae, and some mite larvae, such as Macrocheles muscae Domesticae, eat fly eggs. One larva can eat 20 pieces per day.


Flies are carriers of more than 100 pathogens.

Because they are able to travel even several kilometers from their breeding sites, they contribute to the spread of many diseases and parasites that can be found on the hairs covering the fly's body, in the mouth, vomit and feces. Pathogens spread by flies cause, among others, typhoid fever, cholera, salmonellosis, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax and ophthalmia.

Flies were used as biological weapons during World War II.

The Japanese, under the leadership of Shiro Ishii, worked on methods of entomological warfare. They designed bombs with two chambers. The first was filled with house flies, and the second with a bacterial suspension of Vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera. The mechanism was designed so that after the bomb was dropped, the flies were covered with a suspension and then released.

The first such bomb was dropped in 1942 on the Chinese city of Baoshan, where the Allies were stationed. The bomb initially killed 60 people, and then the plague spread over a 200-kilometer radius, claiming 200 victims. In 1943, another bomb was dropped on Shandong, where the epidemic killed 210 people.


Fly larvae are collected or raised as feed for farm animals.

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