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!