The Ultimate Housefly Quiz

Staff

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About This Quiz

"Waiter, what's this fly doing in my soup?" "It looks like he's doing backstroke, sir." The point of this old joke is that houseflies have found their evolutionary niche among humans and are very adept at surviving attempts to get rid of them. Take our quiz and find out more about the housefly.

What percentage of flies found indoors are houseflies?

Some 90 percent of flies found indoors are houseflies, or, as they are known in the scientific world: musca domestica.

Which of these preys on houseflies?

Lizards, spiders, wasps, frogs and sparrows prey on houseflies.

What is a housefly's body covered with?

A housefly's body is covered by a hard exoskeleton of chitin.

How many sections is a housefly's body divided into?

A housefly's body is divided into three sections: head, thorax and abdomen.

How many simple eyes is a fly's eyes composed of?

A fly's head is covered with a pair of complex eyes, made up of 3,000 to 6,000 simple eyes. They cannot focus up close on objects, instead they have a mosaic view of everything around them.

How many ocelli do flies boast?

Flies have three ocelli at the top of their head, between their compound eyes, which act as a compass.

What is a fly's proboscis similar to?

A fly's proboscis, the organ which enables it to eat, extends from the bottom of its head. It is similar to a plunger.

What enables the fly to taste the food it eats?

It is the maxillary pulps, two antenna like feelers, that enable a fly to taste the food it eats.

Which species of fly bites?

Houseflies do not have the ability to bite. However, horseflies and stable flies, similar in looks to the housefly, can bite.

How many pairs of wings do houseflies have?

From afar, it looks like flies have only one set of wings. An up close inspection reveals that there is small set of hind wings, called halters, below the main pair.

How can you differentiate between a fannia canicularis and a musca domestica?

The fannia canicularis, otherwise known as the lesser housefly, is more streamlined than the musca domestica, because it folds its wings back at a sharper angle.

What happens to a fly if one of their halter wings is removed?

Flies use their halter wings to help them keep their balance in the air. If one is removed, they will be able to fly only in circles; if both are removed, they won't be able to take off at all.

At what speed do a fly's primary wings operate?

A fly's wings beat 200 to 300 times a second, enabling them to travel at an average speed of 4.5 miles (7.2 kph) an hour.

To what human body part can a fly's tarsi be compared to?

A fly has tarsi, tiny hairs on its end leg segment, that function like human taste buds.

What is a male fly's reproductive organ called?

A male fly's sperm-depositing organ is called an aedegus; a female's reproductive organ is called an ovipositor.

What kind of food is a fly designed to consume?

A fly can only suck, not chew, so it is designed to eat liquefied food only. To deal with this, the fly spits saliva and digestive juices onto the food, waits for it to break it down and then sucks it all up.

How long does it take for a fly to develop from an egg into an adult fly?

In optimal conditions, that is, in warm conditions, it takes seven to ten days for an egg to become an adult.

What are fly's social habits?

Flies are solitary creatures. They lay their eggs and then leave them to fend for themselves in an area safe from predators and with an abundant food supply.

What are fly larvae called?

Fly larvae are called maggots. They look like worms with hooked mouths.

What is the best and simplest way to keep your house fly-free?

The best way to keep flies out of your home is to maintain good hygiene. Because they breed on waste materials, the less waste you have around, the less place they will have to breed.

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