Why fly like lampshades

health : Why is the fly circling around the lamp?

Sometimes it's good not to know exactly. For example, if the common housefly, Musca domestica, is sitting on your breakfast sandwich, then shoo it away, close your eyes and bite. Yes, don't ask where the insect comes from. Whether it has just spat out its goiter contents in order to then suck it up again. How many bacteria it left on the cattle during this regurgitation. All of this is completely irrelevant for the start of the day. Just look at the ceiling and quickly turn to another object of study: the little housefly, Fannia canicularis.

The male fly buzzes around the lamp. Not because of the light. All day long, there is little else in mind than finding a partner. It dances back and forth, defines its territory and is less interested in breakfast bread than in the scent of the little fly woman.

This courtship behavior is widespread in the insect kingdom. Men and women meet in conspicuous, high places like the lamp, on branches or hills. The males there wait for their partner to dance for hours. Especially in areas where there are only a few individuals in the open, the sexes preferably meet at the nearest peak. There the hiker encounters, for example, meat flies or butterflies like the swallowtail, explains Joachim Ziegler from the Berlin Natural History Museum.

This strategy is also successful in the good living room. The little housefly, albeit a loner, has many a rendezvous under the lampshade. She has a remarkable offspring, especially in summer. Good to know? Well, maybe we could go dancing again.


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