Bug of Week 8: Fly

The return of spring means the return of flies a common name which includes over 100,000 different species. The flies you're most likely to see on Martha's Vineyard include horse flies, green flies, hover flies, and house flies. Flies might be a nuisance when you're trying to relax at the beach or spend time outdoors, but they are actually an important pollinator, helping to continue the life cycle of our plants and flowers. Flies are also an essential part of our ecosystem, serving as a food source for fish and larger insects. Most flying insects have four wings, but flies only have two. They can fly in all directions- up and down, side to side, and backwards! 

Please be gentle and respectful to all animals and insects.

Species Lucillia sericata (Common green bottle fly)

HABITAT (WHERE THEY LIVE): Flies are found pretty much everywhere on Earth, but thrive in wet, humid areas where there is a consistent food source.

NUTRITION (WHAT THEY EAT): Adult flies eat dead organic material, including fruit, vegetables, meat, plants, and manure. They also suck nectar from flowers. Flies don't have teeth, but use a long straw-like tongue called a proboscis to eat their food.

PREDATORS (WHO EATS THEM): Many animals and insects feed on flies, including frogs, fish, snakes, and spiders.

LIFE CYCLE: The life cycle of a fly has four main stages. Female adult flies lay eggs in dead or decaying material. After around 24 hours, the eggs hatch into larvae, who spend 3-7 days feeding on the organic material where the egg was laid. It then becomes a pupa, and gains a hard, outer shell. The last stage is adult, which is ready to lay more eggs and continue the life cycle.