Year of 2017

Close-up of a fly on flower stamens

No, that’s not a science fiction character, but a member of the order Diptera, commonly known as a fly. Flies are often overlooked as pollinators, yet they fertilize a variety of wild and cultivated plants, including the flowering cocoa tree. That means flies help keep the store stocked with chocolate. And any fly that works to maintain a steady supply of chocolate is just the bee’s knees in our book. What’s more, flies aid in decomposition of plant matter and control other pests. That’s quite a contribution for a species that’s mainly known as an annoyance.

True flies are insects of the order Diptera, the name being derived from the Greek δι- di- “two”, and πτερόν pteron “wings”. Insects of this order use only a single pair of wings to fly, the hindwings being reduced to club-like balancing organs known as halteres. Diptera is a large order containing an estimated 1,000,000 species including horse-flies, crane flies, hoverflies and others, although only about 125,000 species have been described.
Scientific name: Diptera
Biological classification: Order
Consists of: Nematocera · Brachycera
Belongs to: Endopterygota