Who doesn't hate flies? Useless, disease-carrying insects, it is hard to think of a worst pest than the common housefly (Musca domestica). In the summer, when we are opening our doors and windows and coming and going more than in the wintertime, houseflies come into their own.
Flies, of the order diptera, have been around since the Cenozoic era, some 65 million years ago. They begin reproducing within just 36 hours of emerging from the pupa, which kind of redefines prepubescent sex. Fly copulation takes between a few seconds to a couple of minutes, or something akin to normal sex between married human adults.
Following sex, the female fly can lay approximately 500 eggs in several batches of 75-150. This produces lots and lots of baby flies, aka maggots, which you may spot in places like your garbage can the day before garbage pickup.
As flies will feed on dead flesh, they have become associated throughout the years with death. The great American poet Emily Dickinson recognized this in her poem titled “I heard a fly buzz when I died.”
Even the simple word F L Y has many meanings. For instance, it can be a noun, as in *He hit a fly to centerfield* (diptera say-hey-kid). Or it can be a verb intransitive, as in *Come fly with me* (diptera sinatraca). Or it might be a verb transitive, as in *Pilots fly long distances* (diptera delta).
The word also has come to appear in many common phrases. Examples might include: fly the coop/escape (dipteral houdinia), or fly high/be successful (dipteral billgatesia), or fly off the handle/lose one's temper (dipteral trumpia).
Now, given the length of this post, I think I'll fly…
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