Feb 1, 2009

SF Seeking SM with Long Eye Stalks

Martina was watching Animal Planet's "Most Extreme" a few days ago and was presented with this gem. Everyone say hello to the several hundred species strong family of stalk-eyed flies: Diopsidae.

You can find these insects in Old World tropics for the most part. This first one is of Achias rothschildi.

Yes, those are eyes at the end of the stalks. That's also where the antennae are. I'm not sure what benefit the eye stalks offer this fly. But if the male wants to find a lady, he had better be sporting some impressively long eye stalks.

How many animal characteristics are there that serve no function but to find a mate? Why did these females decide that the length of eye stalk is the most important factor? What about earning potential, sense of humor, paternal devotion? I wouldn't fair well among the lady stalk-eyed flies, not with my hominid binocular vision.

Thanks for the stalk-eyed fly, Martina.

Photo source: Harold Schillhammer


Anonymous said...

Can anyone say, "Pitch Black"?

Scythemantis said...

I can't believe anyone can look at these pretty little insects and vote "gross."

Really, there should be a "beautiful" checkbox. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of viewers disagree with a lot of things being on this blog at all :p

The funniest and most delightful thing about these flies is that as females keep judging by stalk width, the stalks obviously keep getting longer and longer by natural selection; and many species are already at a point where the stalks hinder their ability to fly or to even see properly.