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Thread: Where do Flies go in the night?

  1. #1 Where do Flies go in the night? 
    Forum Freshman Silex7's Avatar
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    Does anybody know the answer of this question??


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    Hey,

    What an interesting question. I don't know the answer but I would imagine that they don't sleep in the way that mammals do. They probably have some state of relaxation that they go through periodically but are actually awake for the duration of their lives.


    Kevster


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    yes ,..exactly it's about relaxation!,..but am wondering really when they flying all over in the morning,..and when night come, u just cannt see none of them,..i mean do they really relax in hidden places thats why we cannt see them,..and if they were so,..how comes they dont interupt about any human disturbance,..how could flies b just a moment-time!
    thats really weird..

    thanks for reply
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    Hey again,

    There are actually some species of fly that appear during the night. Perhaps these species have specialised eyes that allow them to see in the dark. I have no idea where flies 'relax', however. I have never in my life seen a large group flies congregating except whilst in the air.
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    Long winded answer (sorry).

    Flies are poikilothermic. They do not generate their own body heat, but the insect "nervous system" is dependent upon heat for its efficiency, consequently flies became very torpid when their world cools down - such as at night or in the winter. If you try swatting a fly on a hot day you need to be quick, if you find one on a cool day it's easy, so at night they would be food for anything that was about.

    I don't know where they go at night, but in the winter they cluster in caves, under rocks, in attics, under car seats, anywhere insulated they can. A few years ago I open my house windows for the first time one spring and loads of what I thought were dead files fell out on to the sill. A moment in the sun and some woke up (some were dead). I'm guessing they do something similar at night, and I suspect that underneath leaves or among grass would be quite good if you're a fly.

    On a similar point, why do spiders always live behind car wing mirrors?


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    A few years ago I open my house windows for the first time one spring and loads of what I thought were dead files fell out on to the sill
    Sorry, this isn't entirely clear. I meant that the flies had crawled in the very small gap between the frame of the window and the rest of the window, and had been there undisturbded throughout the winter.
    Wibble
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    "poikilothermic" - What a word! Presumably this is also the reason why they are never seen during Winter - They're all waiting for the heat to make their larvae hatch (Right?).
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    poikilothermic - as I'm sure you know (or have looked up) is the modern term for cold blooded. Cold blooded is a misnomer, because they organism's opertaing tempertures are usually similar to warmed blooded animals, its just that poikilothermic organisms allow a much greater variation of their internal termpertaure - e.g. fish.

    The winter thing is, again, due to the nature of the insect nervous system. I'm a psychologist, not an entomologist, so I'm much better on human nervous systems, but I believe that an individual insect's level of activity is directly proportionate to the ambient temperature - try going to a dessert.

    In winter the flies would not be able function at a level that could compete with predators. Come winter flies hibernate - lots don't survive, but when one fly can lay thousands of eggs it doesn't take long to get the numbers up again.

    In coutries where the temperature doesn't fall below certain critical levels the flies don't die off and the numbers are hideous. I was in the Northern Territory of Australia some years ago. From inside a car it looks lovely. The typical rugged bush, red-centre thing that everyone imagines for Oz, and no flies. Open the car door and there are thousands of the bastards all trying to get in your mouth, in your eyes, up your nose, and the more you try to scare them way the more they seem to think you keeping something good from them and try to get in even harder, I've no idea where they all hide until you get out of the car. As a local said "they can ruin your day".
    Wibble
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    Hey,

    I had no idea that poikilothermic meant cold-blooded so thank you for explaining. I'm studying Applied Biology currently and always thought it strange that the term 'cold-blooded' was used. It's certainly a misnomer as you have stated.


    Anyway, here in Ireland we do not get much heat so flies are only seen during the summer for a few weeks. After that they pretty much vanish until the next year.


    Yeh, col
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    Might I suggest a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectotherm[/url]
    Wibble
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibble
    Long winded answer (sorry).
    ?
    no,..it's kewl man i luv long feeded answers..
    Quote Originally Posted by Wibble
    Flies are poikilothermic.
    yeah i gut well-realised of this term, i studied in my Biophysics course,
    yeah 'chucky' the one concerning cold- blooded animals.. like Frog and snakes..etc


    Quote Originally Posted by Wibble
    A few years ago I open my house windows for the first time one spring and loads of what I thought were dead files fell out on to the sill. A moment in the sun and some woke up (some were dead).
    Aha!,..i assume they located in totally isolated places, where they can adapt their enviromental body changes..it's so wicky really,..i went crazy searching for any of them in the night but found nothing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibble
    On a similar point, why do spiders always live behind car wing mirrors
    hah! nice one,..i assume it leans on the type of material they eased with..or something like that, i dunnt know exactly but i used to see them in very strange critical places like around the toilet tap and stuff like these lol! i think there is a mystery physicsal reason in these types of cases,,here where the biophysics science starts to play!
    thanks for this post
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    Good question, and I'm sure that they do hide up away from predators in nooks and crannies. There are 2 animal questions which taunt me......

    1. Although birds are everywhere, you hardly ever see their corpses! Where do they go to die?

    2. If moths love lights so much, why don't they come out during the day!
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    For the bird question I'd like to say they don't die... but that's not true... :P I think it's because most of them are killed by predators and eaten, making it kind of hard to find the corpses..

    For the moth thing maybe they can't take much heat or they'll dehydrate or something... Those things are pretty easy to kill, I'd imagine the sun can do quite a job on them ..
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    Here in Phoenix we only get flies in the winter time, during the summer they are pretty hard to find. I guess 115 in the shade just doesn't favor well for them.
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    oh boy alot of questions have been opened now,..
    for the birds i think they are quickly decayed and buried..birds bodies mostly so soft and flexible which enables any tiny organisms to feed on.

    .i went once on a trip to a desert before and i have seen really not few numbers of bones preservations for dead decayed birds,..and i assumed they didnt take much time for this..

    for moths ,..it's little weird really..but i think it's something related to climate temp,..dunnt know exactly..
    well about flies,..if they do hide,..am going nuts for this!!! u can keep searching for them everywhere u will find nothing! even if u stuck one of them in ure home lol,..weird really...

    (in)Sanity,..here in egypt we are totally in versa,..we have flies all over around in summer unlike winter,..i can hardly see them in winter,..they are tiny small flies,..unlike big flies rare seen in summer..
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    Interesting questions here! I don't know much about it, but I'll keep an eye on it, in case more answers come along :wink:

    About animals not sleeping: I wonder whether their 'relaxation' is a bit like human trance. If I understand it correctly the human brain is really on a lower activity level during trance, which I guess could give the brain some rest. When you close your eyes your brain activity also drops significantly (I've seen that on EEG recorders). Maybe brain activity just drops even further when animals close their eyes or get into a kind of 'trance'.
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    An answer or two to a question or two.

    First. About the flies in winter. I recall watching a documentary years ago that spoke of flies slipping into whatever nooks and crannies they can find to while away the winter. I suppose they find similar nooks and crannies at night when it gets too cold for them.

    Also. There is some type of a fungus that infects flies. This causes a lot of deaths in winter. It's really quite a fly killer. Once they become inactive, the fungus takes hold and eats them alive.

    The Fly Agaric mushroom was also mentioned (the classic magic mushroom. Amanita Muscaria.) It got the nickname 'Fly Agaric' because the settlers used to chop it up into bits and soak it in milk and lay it on the table top. Flies go crazy for it and dive in to die.


    Second. About the birds... I've seen a lot of dead birds in my time. Maybe not as many as possums and raccoons and whatnot, but that's because birds don't often get killed crossing roads (although I have seen some wedged into car grills... muaha!)

    Anyway. Apparently, a lot of birds die on the wing. Heart failure. And, several times a year (I have no idea of the actual statistics. Might be less. Might be more.) People actually get hit on the head by birds falling out of the air dead. I even saw one on video one time. A duck. Something like that is a one in a million shot.
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    Well if it helps I have a dead pigeon on the roof
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    Concerning the moths:
    Remember that they are nocturnal animals. This circadian rhythm sets up many of their behaviors. They head towards ambient light in the evening because they get confused and they are oriented toward the light.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by invert_nexus
    An answer or two to a question or two.

    First. About the flies in winter. I recall watching a documentary years ago that spoke of flies slipping into whatever nooks and crannies they can find to while away the winter. I suppose they find similar nooks and crannies at night when it gets too cold for them.

    .
    yeah it's something about nooks they get in , i think so too,..but it's really hard to find a sleepy fly somewhere even in nooks, i once found a fly looked really sleeping..but i reffered this to a relaxation mode, but if they are sitting in nooks how can they find nooks in a home habitant?! if we tried to stuck a fly in house or something they die i think down the windows roofs ..so we concluded that flies would die if they didn't find safe nooks and safe places to relax(sleep) in,.. right?
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    so we concluded that flies would die if they didn't find safe nooks and safe places to relax(sleep) in,.. right?
    The nooks would definitely add safety to the fly's repose.

    It would provide cover from predators (scavengers) and also protect the fly from at least some of the extreme of temperature that it is hiding from.

    In the documentary I mentioned, it showed flies crawling into all sorts of little spaces. Lot of cracks and nooks in houses they can wriggle into. I wonder how many flies, on average, are to be found hiding in a common three-bedroom house during winter? And what percentage of these survive? What does the fungus leave behind? Exoskeleton?
    Questions that have no feasible method of achieving an answer.

    In the wild, they probably wedge into everything from tree bark to hibernating grizzly bear fur....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silex7
    yes ,..exactly it's about relaxation!,..but am wondering really when they flying all over in the morning,..and when night come, u just cannt see none of them,..i mean do they really relax in hidden places thats why we cannt see them,..and if they were so,..how comes they dont interupt about any human disturbance,..how could flies b just a moment-time!
    thats really weird..

    thanks for reply
    I've seen them, they like walls and ceilings...
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  23. #22  
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    yeah they often relax on the walls and ceilings,..they re looking for light source or something, i once was working on my laptop in a dark room, and i saw one of them hitting my laptop screen with unconscious , it looked weird really to me..
    "Nothing can be accepted in this world, if it did not pass the mathematical proof."

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  24. #23  
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    Flies have evolved to stay still at night, only kinds of specially evolved flied are active at night like they can give light or have huge eyes.

    Flies have an extremely low efficienty of their eyes, (less than 1%) but many clusters. If it get's dark they can't really see a thing, so they hide below leaves or between pebbles.

    Also bats would make moving flies an easy prey. Plus at night there is less vaporised smell in the air (vaporised water with aroma's). And the flies use that as a guide.

    The bird story is just to obvious, you have like a million cats everywhere.. When the birds die, the cat's take them home. good i don't have a cat..
    The past teaches, the present watches and the future learns.

    Though religion is a concept that simply can not be ignored. The fact that a deity could stand idly by when one part of his creation slaughters another part, simply for his namesake, is a mystery i doubt theologist would dare touch.

    ~Zwolver...
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  25. #24 Re: Flies 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibble
    poikilothermic - as I'm sure you know (or have looked up) is the modern term for cold blooded. Cold blooded is a misnomer, because they organism's opertaing tempertures are usually similar to warmed blooded animals, its just that poikilothermic organisms allow a much greater variation of their internal termpertaure - e.g. fish.

    The winter thing is, again, due to the nature of the insect nervous system. I'm a psychologist, not an entomologist, so I'm much better on human nervous systems, but I believe that an individual insect's level of activity is directly proportionate to the ambient temperature - try going to a dessert.

    In winter the flies would not be able function at a level that could compete with predators. Come winter flies hibernate - lots don't survive, but when one fly can lay thousands of eggs it doesn't take long to get the numbers up again.

    In coutries where the temperature doesn't fall below certain critical levels the flies don't die off and the numbers are hideous. I was in the Northern Territory of Australia some years ago. From inside a car it looks lovely. The typical rugged bush, red-centre thing that everyone imagines for Oz, and no flies. Open the car door and there are thousands of the bastards all trying to get in your mouth, in your eyes, up your nose, and the more you try to scare them way the more they seem to think you keeping something good from them and try to get in even harder, I've no idea where they all hide until you get out of the car. As a local said "they can ruin your day".
    you do realize the average life span of a house fly is 15-30 days ?

    so come winter flies dont "hibernate" like you say , unless they are hatched in or very close to winter they just die , the reason why alot of flies here in Australia is not because the temp doesnt get low and they dont die off its because the ultimate breeding grounds for maggots are warm places where there is alot of dead animals.

    also female fly doesnt lay thousands of eggs , they only lay upto 500 in ideal breeding grounds. I take it that most of your post is just guess work ?!?
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    Most flies, as most flying pests, have a possitive phototropism in their adult forms, therefore they get attracted by different sources of ultraviolet light. Therefore, they get active in the presence of light sources. During night, the sources of light tend to diminish, so their activity is reduced, and triggered when you turn on lights or use different elements that produce light.

    This principle, is the one reason why in many places you can control flying pests, by the use of ultra violet beams of light, to which they get attracted, but near the light source there is an electronic mesh, that on contact with it, the flying pest dies. This kind of devices are very often used in food industry, allowing the food processing plant, to control the pests without the use of chemicals that can contaminate the products produced. Of course under the electronic killing device there is trays, in which the dead flies are gathered and must be regularly cleaned.

    An interesting fact about this phototropism in flies, is that the larval states have a negative phototropism, so usually at day time we don`t see many of them, and of course the electronic killing device is useless against them, but this is another story.......
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    I opened my window to go out onto the flat roof outside my bedroom when I wanted a cigarette at 4am, and it was just getting light. I got out and could hear a really manic buzzing sound, and see quite a lot of flies in the eaves. I thought it might have been a dead bird up there, but thinking back, maybe it could be the flies 'waking up' and starting to be active as the sun came up? Just a thought. I haven't ever seen that many flies before...
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    The ceiling. The answer is they land on the ceiling. They prefer light colored landing spots at night.
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