Fly larvae are remarkably resilient, adapting to environments as harsh as hot springs. Their nervous systems are highly evolved and their aerial agility is impressive. Moreover, they have an ability to feed on crumbs. Ultimately, they can outlive a variety of creatures. So, the question is – can flies go extinct?
Insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, with more than a million species named and many more still to be discovered. As a result, they make up nearly 80% of all animal life on earth. However, insect diversity is decreasing because of pollution, climate change and habitat loss. As a result, many species are at risk of extinction within the next several decades.
One hypothesis suggests that a fear of predators might contribute to the extinction of a species. This theory is based on a study which shows that fruit flies exposed to the scent of a praying mantis seven times increased their risk of extinction. The study also noted that fear of predators may affect the size of the population, making it more difficult for the species to rebound.
Many flies feed as larvae and feed off of plants and fungi. Others lay their eggs in leafy plants and then use the plant’s symbiotic defenses to ward off predators. Several species also serve as pollinators and are important food sources for humans and other animals.