Blow Fly Flashers

Blow Fly

Blow Fly

Insects have remarkable methods of finding mates in their environment. Insects are known to use odors, sounds and light. Researchers* have discovered that blow fly vision is important in mate recognition. Young female blowflies are heavier than males and their wings beat at 178 Hz compared to 212 Hz for the males. When the female wings beat, they reflect light that creates a flash pattern of 178 Hz. Male blow flies are responsive to light, but are much more responsive to flashing light. The males are most responsive to lights flashing at 178 Hz which mimics the female.

*Courtney Eichorn, Michael Hrabar, Emma C. Van Ryn, Bekka S. Brodie, Adam J. Blake and Gerhard Gries. How flies are flirting on the fly. BMC Biology 2017 15:2
DOI: 10.1186/s12915-016-0342-6

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, communication. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blow Fly Flashers

  1. Pingback: Blow Fly Flashers – Entomo Planet

  2. I found this very interesting. Working in the pest control industry I enjoy learning all I can about the insects around us. I like that there is always a distinct difference between male and female insects. Isn’t that true of humans as well? Yet we don’t seem to want to embrace our differences, we fight them. Just a thought. Thanks for the post!

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