What Are Flies For - They Do More Than Annoy!

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When the good weather arrives with spring, and especially in midsummer, we are visited by an annoying flying animal that always tries to sniff our food and moves quickly to escape our attempts to scare it away. Yes, we mean the fly. But although they may bother us, it is not convenient to damage them and there are countless ways to prevent them from bothering us so much without hurting them at all. Why is it not convenient to make them a year? Well, because the role of the fly in the environment is vital.

Thus, the fly does an important job for the balance of the planet, even though many humans have it as an annoying and irritating bug. In this Green Ecologist article, we will talk about what are flies for and their importance to the environment.

Housefly Taxonomy

To start to explain cwhat is the role of flies in the ecosystem in which they live, which in fact they do in a great variety of ecosystems, first we will get to know it a little better by talking about the common fly taxonomy, which is known as the house fly.

  • Kingdom: Metazoa
  • Subkingdom: Eumetazoa
  • Branch: Bilateria
  • Grade: Coelomata
  • Series: Protostomy
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Mandibulata
  • Class: Insecta
  • Subclass: Holometabola
  • Order: Diptera
  • Suborder: Brachycera
  • Infraorder: Muscomorpha
  • Superfamily: Muscoidea
  • Family: Muscidae
  • Subfamily: Muscinae
  • Genus: Musca
  • Species: domestica

If you've ever managed to catch one or see it up close, you may have noticed that their eyes are made up of thousands of individually light-sensitive facets that allow them to fly out of danger.

The fly is part of the phylum or phylum of the arthropods or Arthropoda, whose limbs are articulated, in this case three times, allowing them to rub their mouths and eyes in that characteristic way. In the same way, its body is divided into three different parts or 'tagmas': head, thorax and abdomen.

Also, as a curiosity you will like to know that it is one of the insects that do not have antennas, but do have two so-called wings. Their mouth can only suck, lick, or pierce, but cannot bite or chew. However, some species can sting. Only in Spain there are more than 50,000 identified species, which suggests that in total throughout the world there are an uncountable amount of species of flies.

How long does the life of a fly last?

Usually, flies have a short life, but very active. Between March and September these insects reproduce by the millions. During the rest of the year they do not disappear nor do they hibernate, they simply slow down their life cycles waiting for the high temperatures to return and do their thing.

In most species, the maturity of the fly lasts from 15 to 25 days, and even in totally optimal conditions it can live up to 60 days. During this time it is when they can fly, feed and reproduce, since it is their mature or adult stage. This means that, prior to this stage, they have had more life, but as eggs, larvae or other stages depending on the species.

Why flies are important to the environment

What is the importance of flies in the ecosystem? Well, in summary, flies are pollinating insects, decomposers of organic matter, control pests and serve as food for insectivorous animals.

Explaining it in more detail, we can say that although it seems that it does nothing, other than fly and sneak through our windows, flies are beneficial to all of us because of their pollinating work and the possibility of using these animals to control pests, something that provides us great benefits. Not forgetting that Mendel, father of genetics, used the rapid life cycle of these insects to demonstrate his important theories that have revolutionized the field of science.

Next, we explain each of these aspects that make the importance of flies for the environment In general, each ecosystem in which they live and for us directly is something really vital.

Flies are flower pollinating insects

One of the main flies functions in the ecosystem is pollination. Like other insects, such as bees, flies when flying are a means of transport for the pollen of various plants, which sticks to their legs and other parts of the body when landing on flowers and is released as they fly or perch. over other flowers. This is the result the pollination of a large number of plant species.

However, by not feeding directly on it, other animals such as bees actually perform this work in a more relevant way.

Here you can read more about pollinating insects: what they are and their importance.

Decomposers and recyclers of organic matter

Within the trophic relationships of ecosystems, that is to say what we can simply call the food chain, flies have a role of organic matter decomposing animals or recyclers of this.

This means that flies, mainly in their larval stage, are saprophagous animals, so their nutrition depends on the residues of other organisms or living beings, whether they are plant or animal residues. For example, the larvae of flies feed on the corpses of deceased animals, the remains of dead leaves or feces, that is, they are ghouls and dungs.

In addition, in this food chain in which they also serve as food for other beings, as we will explain later, they also have another vital function for natural balance, although we can identify it as a detrimental function for other beings, like us, and beneficial for others. We talk about what flies are vectors or carriers of microorganisms, that is, they spread parasites and diseases to other animals, such as humans, dogs, lions, horses, and so on.

Pest control with flies

Some Diptera, like flies, regulate animal populations that are detrimental to some plants and some animals, including humans. For example, they serve to control pests in cropsTherefore, some species of flies can help fight mite, aphids, bed bugs, etc.

However, there are also species of flies that, depending on what conditions they are in, become pests.

Flies are food for insectivores

Insectivorous animals eat insects, as their name suggests. The large number of flies and other diptera in the world is one of the main sources of food for this type of animal.

There are countless species animals and vegetables that eat insects like flies. Thus, from carnivorous plants to birds, reptiles, other insects, arachnids, amphibians, aquatic animals of all kinds, among others, they are species that feed on flies. Therefore, flies are part of the food chain in both directions, being an important food source, which gives them more importance in the ecological balance of the planet.

Flies serve as a model for scientific studies

This is an aspect totally related to humans and our advancement in science, health and even other fields such as technology. It is true that flies are used in scientific studies and, in fact, they have always been one of the most studied and used animals for new discoveries. Above all they have been used in genetic, physiological and biochemical studies.

Therefore, we like it more or less, flies are very important to humans and the planet for all these reasons, which are told throughout the article.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are flies for?, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

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