A few questions about the fly.

This is on behalf of my 7 year old niece. Late Sunday afternoon we were outside at a family barbecue. The flies were terrible and I reassured my niece they’d go away after dark.

Bad move on my part.

Question 1. Where do they go at night. <1st shoulder shrug from me>

Question 2. Where do they live? <my 2nd shoulder shrug>

Question 3 Who is their mother? I hesitated here. Should I tell her they grow out of maggots? At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Question 4 Are they eating when they land on my food? Once again, should I tell her they are laying maggot eggs?

My uncle cred needs a boost. She’ll ask again next time I see her. :smiley:

Finally two questions from me…
Is it true the American fly is one of the few that don’t bite?

I’ve heard the Canadians and Aussies suffer from a large fly population that bites.

If true, I’m glad American horse flies are only found in localized areas with horses or cattle. I hate getting bitten by those critters. :mad:

Finally, why do flies disappear at night?

They just go kind of dormant. They land on something and sit till it warms up. Their metabolisms are hugely driven by ambient temperatures.

Wherever their senses tell them the good eating is.

Correct, and I dont think they actually need to mate.

I would. I actually ate some porkchops that sat on the grill for a few hours. Then I noticed the seasoning was wiggling. Yuuck.

There are species of flies that bite and they appear in the states as far as I know. Here in Canada our flies cannot overwinter so they actually colonize yearly from farther south. I’ve never been bitten: no huge population of biting flies here.

We have the same horse flies.

A) you cant see them, they are dark. B) they are barely active, sluggish. Unlike moths they dont congregate around light sources. Unlike mosquitos, they dont home in on the CO2 exhaled by humans. So they are there, you just dont notice.

As a Doper, you have an obligation to try to tell her the truth, and as an uncle, you have an obligation to try to gross her out. When they land on her food, they’re regurgitating a small amount of liquid to dissolve the surface of the food, then slurping that back up to feed (incidentally, they taste the food with their feet). And when thinking about the composition of this liquid, remember all the other things flies like to eat. They’ll do this pretty much every time they land on food, but they’ll only lay eggs if they’re undisturbed (and, of course, if they’re female and have already mated). They’ll generally lay their eggs in high-protein foods like meat, though they’ll also eat sugary foods. The eggs, if they lay them, hatch into maggots, and the maggots turn into adult flies in much the same way that caterpillars turn into butterflies.

Are there fly cocoons, then? What do they look like?

And if there are male and females, how could they reproduce asexually?

Thanks, I’ll pass the information along to my niece.

Flies larvae usually just make pupae without enclosing them in cocoons.

House fly pupae

Who says they reproduce asexually? Most flies, in particular the ones that bother people, reproduce by mating between males and females.

Some insects, such as aphids, may reproduce asexually for several generations, but they normally then produce a generation with both males and females and reproduce sexually.

I am dissappointed that this thread isn’t about the movie

FuzzyOgre erroneously did.

to be fair, technically what Fuzzy said was “I don’t think they actually need to mate”, not “I don’t think they actually need to mate in order to reproduce”, so there could be lots of flies in convents or such :slight_smile:

Excuse me? Excuse me?!! No biting flies in Canada?

During the summer we have not only mosquitoes, but blackflies, deerflies, horseflies… some of them don’t just puncture the skin when they bite; they take a chunk of flesh when they leave!

The US also has all of those biting flies. And mosquitoes are in the same order as flies, so they count as Dipterous biters, as well.

Interesting article. I had no idea there were so many types of biting fly. I don’t recall encountering any except the horse fly.

I’ve heard of the Aussie salute. I was doing my version of it the other night at the barbecue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aussie_salute

Excuse you. I did not proclaim NO biting flies, just not a huge population of them. No more than the states in any case. What I said is that I have never been bitten(in 38 years). Are they common enough that you need to take preventive measures to avoid them? I’m guessing not.

And mosquitoes are neither flies, nor particular to Canada.

I’ll just let Wade Hemsworthrespond.

Apropos of not a lot, my “favorite” North American Biting Fly. Those big-ass fuckers can actually draw blood and they hurt. I’m normally quite blase about stinging and biting insects, but I’ll actually squeal like a little girl and do a little dance to avoid being nailed by one. They even have the absurdly appropriate scientific name of Tabanus punctifer.

I beg to differ that mosquitos aren’t flies. They are both of the same order: Diptera. According to Wikipedia,

(bolding mine)

To say that mosquitoes aren’t flies is akin to saying that human beings aren’t apes.