There are so many kinds of flies in the Order of Diptera it would make your head spin, 157,000 species (12% of the planetary biota). I found a few in my garden in the last two posts and here are a few more. Mostly, the images are Green Bottle Flies, but boy are they busy in the garden.
This fly, Sarcophaga, is a pretty one with the checkered abdomen.
Ok, maybe not pretty, but interesting anyway.
Did you know that mosquitoes are actually flies? But as much as flies are despised and unwanted, they do serve an ecological purpose like everything on this planet.
Here I photographed the flies in an artful manner, but this is certainly not their strong point. In fact, flies could use a good PR firm. I know it really is a stretch to think of flies as something of beauty, but like so many other insects, they can be something of which to capture attention. Unfortunately for the reputation of the fly, that attention is associated with death, disease, and decay – clearly warranting an image overhaul.
Nature does not look at the fly as anything less than necessary.
From the maggots that break down organic matter in garbage, to pollination of our flowers and crops, the fly fills a niche in the ecosystem. Adult flies act to recycle when they feed on decaying waste such as dung and dead animals.
They themselves are a food source for birds, spiders and other insects, an important link in the food chain. Flies have a huge protein content surpassing that of many other foods, so bon appetit! The lowly mosquito larvae is a nutrient-packed morsel for fish and other pond life too.
When one looks closer, the questions volley like, “What good do they serve.”
As spreaders of disease and pestilence they certainly have plagued mankind through the ages. So another niche flies could unwittingly fill is that of keeping populations within reason, unfortunately. Vectors of disease, they can certainly transport it far and wide.
When I was out photographing the prettier insects, I had a double take at the common fly. What I really took note of was how much the flies aid in pollination. They are very busy garden workers.
Breaking down dead organic matter, flies can help to make rich topsoil in which our plants grow, so in a way, they contribute to the gardens we tend!
On the other hand, while some play this role in a natural ecosystem, Houseflies are a bit different. Musca domestica has adapted to living off food and waste surrounding humans, so that kinda makes the House Fly a bit of a nuisance.
I am not saying put away the swatters, but God did put these insects here for a reason, and they are just out doing their job, pest or not.
This may be a Ginger Bee, but I did have an entomologist tell me otherwise. So I titled the image Bombyliidae, which sounds like a bumblebee, but really is a fly, a bee fly.
They are the largest of the family Diptera, having over 5,000 species described worldwide. Any wonder why it is hard to get the names right? Even the pros sometimes need to see the flies under a scope they look so similar.
I know flies are a nuisance at your family picnic, but they have value we might not live without. Pretty, well that is in the eye of the beholder.