Your Host: Don Wales
Topic: Diptera order and a healthy review of the Coleoptera order
Diptera – true flies. The Diptera include flies, mosquitos, gnats, midges, and no-see-ums. There are about 120,000 known species of true flies alive today. Dipterans typically have sucking mouth-parts, and may feed on plant juices or on decaying organic matter. A number of dipterans feed on blood, and some may transmit vertebrate diseases; certain mosquitos, for instance, transmit human malaria. Other dipterans pollinate certain flowering plants — although not the kind you’d necessarily want in your corsage! Fly-pollinated plants, like the skunk cabbage of North America or the stinking corpse lily of Madagascar, typically have quite pungent odors.