Flies

True flies are grouped together in the insect group Diptera, which means ‘two wings’. There are over 150,000 known species of flies in the world. They can be found in most habitats and are numerous in number.

Many different kinds of flies visit flowers for nectar, pollen, to lay eggs, or to feed on other smaller insects that may be on the plant. They are important pollinators of many plants. Even common houseflies and bluebottles that we find annoying are important pollinators of crops like mango and avocado.

The most important fly pollinators include hoverflies in the family Syrphidae. They have stripes on their abdomen that mimic honeybees and are often mistaken for bees. Hoverflies are important pollinators of carrots, avocado, and a number of other crops.

Chocolate is made from the seeds of cacao trees, whose flowers can only be pollinated by specialised midges (part of the Order Diptera—the ‘True Flies’). Without these tiny flies that are normally found in tropical rainforest, there would be no chocolate available for us to eat!


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Philoliche, a long-tongued Tabanid fly on Ipomoea by D. J. Martins
Philoliche, a long-tongued Tabanid fly on Ipomoea by D. J. Martins
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Pollen-feeding fly on Maerua by D. J. Martins
Pollen-feeding fly on Maerua by D. J. Martins
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Tabanid fly on Orthonsiphon sp. by D. J. Martins
Tabanid fly on Orthonsiphon sp. by D. J. Martins
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Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Euphorbia magnicapsula by D. J. Martins
Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Euphorbia magnicapsula by D. J. Martins
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Hoverfly on Harungana madagascariensis by D. J. Martins
Hoverfly on Harungana madagascariensis by D. J. Martins
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Soldier fly on euphorbia by D. J. Martins
Soldier fly on euphorbia by D. J. Martins
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Hoverfly Syrphidae sp. on euphorbia by D. J. Martins
Hoverfly Syrphidae sp. on euphorbia by D. J. Martins
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Root maggot fly on onion bloom by D. J. Martins
Root maggot fly on onion bloom by D. J. Martins
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Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Impatiens sp. by D. J. Martins
Hoverfly (Syrphidae) on Impatiens sp. by D. J. Martins
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Tachnid fly on Rhus by D. J. Martins
Tachnid fly on Rhus by D. J. Martins
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Black scavenger fly (Sepsidae) on Rhus flowers by D. J. Martins
Black scavenger fly (Sepsidae) on Rhus flowers by D. J. Martins
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Blue bottle chloroselas flies and Tiny Gem butterfly by D. J. Martins
Blue bottle chloroselas flies and Tiny Gem butterfly on Euphorbia magnicapsula by D. J. Martins
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