stalk eyed fly

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The Stalk-Eyed Fly

This has to be one of the strangest creatures I’ve ever seen. Male Stalk-Eyed Flies gulp air bubbles up into their heads, then pump those air bubbles into the stalks that support their eyes. The eye-stalks are then inflated to terrifying proportions, acting as nature’s creepiest balloon animals. Lastly, they straighten out any kinks that they may find (because as we all know there’s nothing more embarrassing than a wrinkly eye-stalk). Apparently, this is a sexual adaptation, as the males with the longest eye stems get all the ladies. 

Thank you, evolution, for being more creative than any science fiction writer and for providing me with endless wonderment and nightmares. 

via: Life

The Stalk Eyed Fly demonstrates a unique and fascinating form of natural selection. Male flies have their eyes located on the ends of extended stalks, this happens during a transformation undergone immediately after hatching. Bubbles of air are gulped into the head that then get pumped into the stalks containing the eyeballs. This also acts as a type of sexual selection, the longer their eyestalks the more attractive they are to females.

flickr
Stalk-eyed Fruit Flies (Pelmatops tangliangi, Tephritidae),
male (above) and female (below)

Both males and females have the stalked eye morphology (yes, those are their eyes at the ends of those appendages), but in the males it is ridiculously exaggerated. The span from eyeball to eyeball in this case is around 35mm (1 1/3 inches).

External image


by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese flies on my Flickr site HERE…..
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The TOP TEN images taken in 2015 and posted to itchydogimages on Flickr (according to Flickr’s “interestingness” algorithm).

Click on and scroll through images for IDs…..

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……

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5/22/15

Diptera (Flies)-Diopsidae (Stalk-eyed Flies)-Genus Sphyracephala 4mm

Such cool flies. A first for me!

Name -Greek for “hammerhead”

Two North American species:2 spp. ~200 spp. in 14 genera total.
Sphyracephala brevicornis
Sphyracephala subbifasciata

Size 4-12 mm (worldwide), our spp. ~4 mm

Range Sphyracephala is north temperate, other genera in Old World tropics