Flies: Fascinating, Numerous, and Everywhere…Nature’s Biological Super-doers

A pollinator fly on a yellow flower
  • Tuesday September 15, 2020
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Dr. Brian Wiegmann WNR Professor of Entomology
  • NC State University
  • Audience: Family

Flies are one of the four largest insect orders in number of species and new species are discovered every day all over the world. Flies are also perhaps the most diverse insect order in terms of their habits, in the biological roles they play, and in the environments they have successfully colonized and adapted to. These attributes make flies a famous and nearly perfect example of how evolutionary and genetic processes have worked to make insects so important a part of natural ecosystems. Flies include species that are decomposers, pollinators, plant feeders, parasites, predators — and they are key members of the food webs that provide energy and nutrients for other animals. While many see flies as just the typical house fly crashing a picnic, these insects are also often beautiful, complex, and surprising examples of the diversity of ways that organisms can both succeed in, and sustain, natural environments.