Will Flies Die in the Cold?

Will Flies Die in the Cold?

Several factors may affect the ability of flies to survive in cold temperatures. First of all, insects have difficulties keeping water and salts out of their gut. Once this balance is disrupted, cell death occurs. In some cases, severe injuries may also prevent survival. In a study of fruit flies, researchers exposed the insects to 0degC for less than 15 min. The flies survived for a few hours.

Flies are also able to survive the cold by storing fat in their bodies. This fat is visible in dissected flies. In addition to this, the cold weather doesn’t kill the flies because their metabolism slows down. In fact, the flies will even seek out the warmth of the sun.

In addition, changes in humidity can reduce or increase survival. Changes in humidity can reduce or increase the amount of water lost, and increase or decrease the duration of cold exposure. Changes in humidity affect survival rates at 6degC, but not at subzero temperatures. This might explain why certain genotypes are better at surviving in cold temperatures.

Despite these differences, the water content of flies exposed to cold temperatures varied among genotypes. Some genotypes, such as Hikone-A, Berlin-K, and Oregon-R, were more water-packed than hydrated controls. Moreover, they were also similar in water content with the desiccated flies.