From the monthly archives:

December 2008

Diptera glamour: flies in vibrant colors

by Maraya on December 8, 2008

I like photographs that make us see things differently.  These macro shots, by flickr.com member Troup1, cast an admiring eye on the most reviled group of insects: the order Diptera, which includes house flies, mosquitoes, and midges.  Aren’t they lovely?

Blue Bottle Fly

Blue Bottle Fly

Bee fly

Bee Fly

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Long-legged Fly

Long-legged Fly

What makes a fly a fly?

Diptera means “two wings.”  While other insects — bees, for example — have two pairs of wings, true flies have only one pair.  All that remains of the fly’s ancestors’ second set of wings are club-shaped nubs, which gyrate as it flies, helping it to balance.

Disclaimer: While I believe that these insects are all true flies from the order Diptera, they haven’t been positively identified.

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