The house fly is a very common insect that everyone recognizes. If you have ever observed the behavior of these animals when they are perched on a surface, you will have seen that they often rub their feet together. Why do they do it?
Entomologist David Grimaldi answers this question in The New York Times. He explains that the flies perform this movement to clean their extremities and "be able to feel their surroundings better." It is their way of removing dirt from their legs, which fulfill important functions and are full of small hairs that they comb.
"Flies have chemical receptors not only on their feet, but also on their legs. They taste the substrate with their feet, so they must keep them very clean," says the expert, who compares this grooming of the legs with "cleaning the palate ".
They are animals that can taste food and other substances by stepping on them. This is how they decide if they can ingest them, but also if it is a suitable material to lay eggs. "A dung fly, for example, requires dung before laying eggs, but is more than happy to eat a piece of cheese," says Grimaldi.
Flies use their legs to clean other parts of their anatomy, such as their wings, abdomen, thorax, and compound eyes. The short hairs that these and other insects have on their bodies also serve other functions. For example, they allow them to repel water and fly in the rain.
At the base of the claws of each leg, these animals have pads that they use as an adhesive system, since they secrete a fluid that allows them to stick to surfaces. It is a substance that also serves to cover your body, so that they become more slippery and can move without problems in different circumstances.
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