Nov 10, 2008

something i didn't know about flies

caution, not for those with weak stomachs

Flesh fly. Sarcophaga spp. Image from wiki entry

Miss4 was on a fly hunt today. The warmer weather has brought a few of them inside and she is an excellent fly swatter (what passes for hand-eye-coordination training around here).

Today, she swatted a fly and decided to do a little investigating. After all, we do encourage an 'enquiry based, learner directed approach' donchernow, so despite my own qualms about the grossness I remained silent as she proceeded.

Taking a wooden block, she carefully squished the fly on the windowsill to see what she would see.

What she saw was live young! How cool is that?? I didn't know that flies could lay live maggots - I thought they all laid eggs that went through the usual egg, larvae, pupae, fly process.

After ascertaining for certain that we were indeed seeing what we were seeing, I sent her off to thoroughly wash her hands and the wooden block while I got rid of the fly and maggots.

I've just done some investigating online and found that it must have been a flesh fly. Some species of flesh fly lay live young (try saying that 6 times fast) and thus are useful to forensic entomologists (people who look at the insect colonisation of dead bodies to determine time of death etc). I like their scientific name Sarcophagidae - meaning 'flesh eater'.

There's a you-tube of someone doing the exact same thing if you really want to see it. Some people will put anything on youtube, won't they? I didn't watch the whole thing, it was too gross to see twice...

No comments:

Newer Post Older Post Home