Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Fly Sponging Mouthparts
Jul 1, 2020 15:27:19   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
This is an image of a House Fly that I captured this morning and staged for a focus stacking session. It shows the mouthparts which is used in a sponging action to slurp up its food.

This is what I found that describes what you will see in this image of the fly that I copied for those who may want to know more:

The mouthparts consists of the elbowed labium that has a fleshy look. At the end of the labium, there are large sponge like organs called labella. The hairs usually surround the mouthparts. This is to retain moisture on the fly thus keeping water loss from body at minimum level.

The labella is a very complex structure that contain many grooves known as pseudotrachea. This structure is very important as it suck up liquids like a sponge.

Saliva is also released from the labella to help dissolve and collect food particles. This will ease the food uptake by the pseudotrachea. The process of food uptake occurs through capillary actions.

Once liquid food is drawn by the pseudotrachea, it will pass through the food channel into the oesophagus.

Sponging mouthpart flies cannot bite or chew food with the exception of tsetse, horsefly and deerfly. Higher diptera such as houseflies have lost their mandibles and maxillae an organ which helps in the biting and chewing process.


(Download)

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Jul 1, 2020 15:32:38   #
tinusbum Loc: east texas
 
wow! thats a good one!

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Jul 1, 2020 15:37:57   #
Screamin Scott Loc: Marshfield Wi, Baltimore Md, now Dallas Ga
 
One ugly sucker....Nice capture though...

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Jul 1, 2020 18:24:23   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
tinusbum wrote:
wow! thats a good one!


Thanks, Tinusbum. The housefly mouth is quite unique from other types of mouths and I was fortunate to get a view of one.

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Jul 1, 2020 19:39:21   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
Screamin Scott wrote:
One ugly sucker....Nice capture though...


Thanks, Scott. An ugly sucker it is for sure.

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Jul 1, 2020 19:57:45   #
kpmac Loc: Ragley, La
 
Outstanding, sippy.

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Jul 2, 2020 00:00:24   #
napabob Loc: Napa CA
 
another wow here.........👏🏻

spent more time then usual gazing about............ twice!

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Jul 2, 2020 08:38:38   #
docshark Loc: Long Neck, DE
 
Great information Gary and a shot I've never seen before. Nice detail.
-Doc

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Jul 2, 2020 09:51:18   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
kpmac wrote:
Outstanding, sippy.


Thanks, Kpmac. I know that it's quite gross although I thought that it was interesting.

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Jul 2, 2020 09:56:53   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
napabob wrote:
another wow here.........👏🏻

spent more time then usual gazing about............ twice!


Thanks, Napabob. Of course the common housefly is small in comparison to the other common flies. They exude enzymes in their saliva that turns whatever they eat into a liquid soup so that it can be sponged up which makes them pretty nasty.

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Jul 2, 2020 10:01:21   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
docshark wrote:
Great information Gary and a shot I've never seen before. Nice detail.
-Doc


Thanks, Doc. You know how small a housefly is so getting that little bugger into position to showcase its mouthparts took a bit of trial and error at those levels of magnification. I shared the narrative for one that I found on a university website where I read about the process and the evolution of its specialized mouth.

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Jul 2, 2020 12:42:13   #
ecobin Loc: Paoli, PA
 

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Jul 2, 2020 14:32:58   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
ecobin wrote:


Thanks for dropping by and for the reply.

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