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Fly-Swarm Trick-or-Treat

Updated on April 16, 2011
Fly-Swarm Trick-or-Treat
Fly-Swarm Trick-or-Treat | Source

My, My, My! Seems that poor old maid Ms. Marvella Macie McMiniver has succumbed stuporifically to this year’s fly-swarm trick-or-treat!

You may have read recently — either in any of a number of science or nature magazines, or perhaps in the home and garden section of your local newspaper — of CCD: the Colony Collapse Disorder that has affected millions of honeybees across the land. Whether due to environmental changes or diminished crop diversity or viruses or bacteria or a combination of these and other factors, workers of beehives increasingly seem to abruptly disappear. CCD is having a potentially catastrophic effect on the pollination of a wide variety of our food crops.

Well, there certainly appears to be no concomitant die-off of Dipterids! For these pesky common houseflies — Musca domestica of the suborder Cyclorrapha, to trained entomologists — are certainly common and plentiful! So common and plentiful, in fact, that they collectively constitute 9/10ths of all the world’s flies that cohabit with humans.

Here a swarm of M. domestica has cohabited just a bit too closely to Ms. M. M. McMiniver for the old gal’s conscious comfort. Though this swarm appears rather large, unbelievably it is actually just one immediate fly-family. Momma Musca has spawned these several thousand flylings through several matings and multiple hatch-batches. And it only took her and hubby a week or two!

Like the trained flea-circuses of lore, this family swarm has perfected a great number of feats of acrobatics, aeronautics and impersonation — this laughing ghoul-face of Halloween being just one of them.

You should see their Mona Lisa! 


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