Although they are small and often overlooked, flies are actually very interesting creatures. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and even have their own special set of senses that most other insects do not have.
How many eyes does a fly have?
This depends on the type of fly you are referring to, but most adult flies do not have very many eyes at all.
Read on to learn more about the different types of eyes found in flies as well as some interesting facts about these helpful little insects.
What Does a Fly See?
A fly sees things with its two large compound eyes.
The common housefly has four eyes and a pair of antennae. The two most prominent eyes on the head are the large compound eyes that allow it to see in all directions at once. These compound eyes have about 30,000 individual lenses in each eye for seeing colors and detail.
The other two small simple eyes are not as useful for telling what direction something is coming from, but they do help the fly navigate and avoid obstacles in flight.
How Many Eyes Does a Fly Have?
There are two groups of flies, the true flies and the near-flies.
True Flies are divided into two subgroups: mosquitoes and horseflies.
Mosquitoes have a single pair of wings and a long proboscis, which is used for feeding on blood.
Horseflies have many more features, including three pairs of wings, short proboscis and large eyes.
Near-Flies are also known as vinegaroons or horn flies. These insects are often confused with true flies because they share some similar features like three pairs of wings and a proboscis. Near-flies do not feed on blood like true flies do and instead eat nectar and plant juices. They also do not have compound eyes like true flies do. Their eyes are simple so they can only see light or dark
but not shapes or colors. The abdomen on both near-flies and true flies contains six to eight thin antennae that help the fly feel its way around in the air or in dark areas where it is difficult for their simple eyes to see anything at all.
Fly Eyes: The Basics
Different types of fly have different numbers of eyes and some even have the ability to see infrared light. Most adult flies do not have very many eyes at all. There is a type of fly, called the Helicopteres erythrocephalus, that has more than 100 eyes.
Although they are tiny and often overlooked, flies are actually very interesting creatures. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and have their own special set of senses that most other insects do not have.
Broadband Vision and Faceted Vision
Broadband vision is the type of vision that humans and many other animals on Earth have. Faceted vision, or compound eyes, is well-known for being found in insects like flies.
Fly Eyes That Can Detect Movement
The most fascinating thing about fly eyes is that some can detect movement. Some flies have three types of eyes they use to navigate their surroundings.
The compound eye is the one type of eye that most flies have, detecting movement with its ability to detect changes in light. This is the type of eye used for navigation, where the fly needs to be able to detect changes in azimuth and elevation. These eyes are also known as ommatidia.
The second type of eye found in flies is called the faceted or apposition eye, which detects colors and shapes by analyzing light through small lenses. This type of fly eye cannot detect changes in elevation at all but can detect color very well.
The final type of fly eye you may encounter is called the simple or dichromatic faceted or apposition eye, which detects colors and shapes like the other types but does not distinguish between colors very well. These eyes are located on the very top and bottom span of a fly head however they do not cover as much ground when looking around as the previous two types because they only cover 180 degrees instead of 360 degrees.