Paying homage to the wonderful, unusual and diverse world of animals. I make no claim to content ownership. Sources are credited (with links) whenever possible — on both unique posts & re-blogs. Any post will be removed upon request (please provide URL link to the post/page). Enjoy!
STALK-EYE FLY video of fly inflating its eye-stalks…amazing
A rather remarkable feature of stalk-eyed flies is the ability of the males to ingest air through their oral cavity, and pump it through ducts in the head and through to the tips of the stalks, thereby elongating them.
This is prevalent especially in mating season.
There are several hundred species in the family, with the greatest diversity found in the Old World tropics.
They are distributed throughout the region, with the best known species being from South-East Asia and Southern Africa. There are also two species in North America and a European species has recently been found in Hungary.
Adult diopsids are typically found on low-lying vegetation in humid areas, often near streams and rivers, where they feed on fungi and bacteria on decaying vegetation.
The larvae develop in rotting vegetation.
Due to their peculiar morphology, stalk-eyed flies are readily identifiable as fossils (e.g. in amber); one such prehistoric genus is Prosphyrocephala.
An African genus Centrioncus once placed in the Sepsidae and then moved to the Diopsidae had been suggested as belonging to a proposed new family Centrioncidae as a sister group of the Diopsids but this is usually treated as a subfamily.