Why Do Flies Take Their Heads Off Ants?

Why Do Flies Take Their Heads Off Ants?

Scientists have recently discovered a new behavior in flies: they chop off the heads of ants and drag them to the dining area, where they lay their eggs. The process is described as “ant-decapitating”. However, the reason why the flies take the head off is unclear. One possible explanation is that the flies use an enzyme to disintegrate the ant’s head attachment.

Fly grooming is a complicated process. It is estimated that an individual fly will spend 20 minutes cleaning its body. Since the fly has only its legs to use for the process, the strategy is to clean the head first, and then move to lower priority parts. The process is repeated until the entire body has been cleaned.

It is possible that flies are able to flip their bodies before taking off. This is because flies have a stabilisation reflex built into their bodies. The stabilisers near their wings act as a kind of gyroscope. This reflex is also present in humans. When we stare at something, it kicks in and helps us reorient our body. This reflex also helps flies reorient their heads during takeoff. Once they are stable, they resume normal flight.

One reason for flies to sing as males is to attract females. Female fruit flies can mimic males by singing in the absence of females. They can mimic male wing songs with their fluttering wings, which is important for courtship. This ability is so powerful that the females can fool other females.