bigemrg's picture

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Observed: 24th April 2011 By: bigemrgbigemrg’s reputation in Invertebratesbigemrg’s reputation in Invertebrates
Fly Blowing Bubbles
Description:

I observed this fly in the back garden sitting in a bush. It stayed there for quite a while simply blowing bubbles. One after the other.
I've never seen this behaviour before! Could someone explain it please?

Identifications

No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

bubbles

There is an enormously long discussion on the topic of flies blowing bubbles here:
http://www.diptera.info/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=1016&rowstart=0

I'm afraid I haven't been able to read through it all, but there is no shortage of theories! I think the consensus was going towards it being part of the process of digestion, i.e. regurgitating food for re-consumption.

Re the identity of your fly, it might be a muscid of some sort but I'm not going to make a guess at it from that angle I'm afraid!

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

bigemrg's picture

Re: bubbles

Thanks for the link Martin! There are some very interesting theories over there!

DavidNotton's picture

regurgitating droplets

A most interesting thread. I would like to add that honeybees do something similar as part of the process of producing honey and it's thought that this allows water to evaporate from the droplet until it is sufficiently concentrated that it will not spoil when it is stored. It may be that the flies are doing something similar, taking dilute food, and getting rid of excess water.