Thread subject: :: How does a fly land on the ceiling?

Posted by Tony Irwin on 14-08-2006 14:56

If you have the time and good fortune, it's worth spending half and hour watching a pipunculid flying (especially one of the small ones). Up, down, side to side, forwards, backwards, hovering - it's all apparently effortless, even in confined spaces among dense vegetation. They really have oustanding control (perhaps the big eyes help?).
Obviously this ability is really useful when searching out leafhopper hosts. They can do all their searching from the air, and are not exposed to the dangers of landing and searching on foot. Other parasitoids like ichneumons, braconids and tachinids do that, and must expose themselves to predatory risks in the process. The Hymenoptera have thick cuticles as protection, so I wonder whether the tachinds use their bristles (see
http://www.dipter...ad_id=2931) for protection against predators and/or parasites? Does anyone know, or are there other reasons to look so ridiculously spikey? :)

Edited by Tony Irwin on 14-08-2006 15:01