The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-08-2004, 06:40 PM
Ale Ale is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
How much does a fly weight?, and a dragonfly?

... a grasshopper, perhaps a locust; how about a good sized bee?

Alll of the sudden I have this urge to know the weights of flying insects.

Paging doper entomologists...
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-08-2004, 07:06 PM
Stan Doubt Stan Doubt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
IAAHAE (I Am A Half-Assed Entomologist). An Entomologist might want to know what kind of fly. What Kind of Dragonfly, etc.

The True Fly Order Diptera encompass an enormous variety of insects, from nearly weightless midges to breakfast sausage-size Cranefly larvae.

Even were the question limited to the common housefly, individuals will significantly differ in mass due to age, sex, etc. Furthermore, once they are dead, they will dry out drastically and change significantly in mass. Preserved specimens change in mass until the preservative evaporates.

It might be more appropriate to ask "How dense is a living fly/Dragonfly/etc.", then you would be able to better estimate the weight of a given type of insect in relation to its apparent size. Perhaps there is a motorcyclist on the boards who has studied this subject while riding at speed and can thus answer the question more directly by telling you which hurts more at 55mph, a medium-sized June beetle, or a wicked huge housefly.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-08-2004, 07:27 PM
Ale Ale is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
OK, how about the common Musca Domestica; live and kickinī insects only, please. Being an aviation geek Iīm interested on the take off weight of the buggs.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-08-2004, 08:01 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Kiwi in Adelaide
Posts: 8,115
Loaded or empty? And do you want us to make an allowance for the taxi?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-08-2004, 09:41 PM
Ale Ale is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1920s Style "Death Ray"
Loaded or empty? And do you want us to make an allowance for the taxi?
Unladen weight, please.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-08-2004, 10:02 PM
Terminus Est Terminus Est is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: The tropics
Posts: 5,232
African or European?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-08-2004, 10:30 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 26,041
This article indicates that various dragonfly and damselfly species range from about .03 to 1.2 grams.

I would guess that the average housefly would be somewhere near the lower end of this range or smaller. A really big fat locust might weight several grams.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-08-2004, 11:11 PM
Ale Ale is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
This article indicates that various dragonfly and damselfly species range from about .03 to 1.2 grams.

I would guess that the average housefly would be somewhere near the lower end of this range or smaller. A really big fat locust might weight several grams.
Thatīs a damn good link Colibri, itīs exactly what I was after; Iīve built a very small ornithopter (20 cm wingspan, 0.4 grams) and I wanted to compare it to insects, in respect to wingloading, airspeed and such.
That site is oozing with very interesting aerodynamics information, unfortunatelly the third page doesnīt seem to work.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright Đ 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.