The Ultimate Housefly Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Housefly Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/Joseph Calev

About This Quiz

"Waiter, what's this fly doing in my soup?" "It looks like he's doing backstroke, sir." The point of this old joke is that houseflies have found their evolutionary niche among humans and are very adept at surviving attempts to get rid of them. Take our quiz and find out more about the housefly.
What percentage of flies found indoors are houseflies?
10 percent
50 percent
90 percent
Some 90 percent of flies found indoors are houseflies, or, as they are known in the scientific world: musca domestica.

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Which of these preys on houseflies?
lizards
Lizards, spiders, wasps, frogs and sparrows prey on houseflies.
snakes
bees

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What is a housefly's body covered with?
chitin
A housefly's body is covered by a hard exoskeleton of chitin.
membranes
scales

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How many sections is a housefly's body divided into?
two
three
A housefly's body is divided into three sections: head, thorax and abdomen.
four

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How many simple eyes is a fly's eyes composed of?
50 to 100
1,000 to 3,000
3,000 to 6,000
A fly's head is covered with a pair of complex eyes, made up of 3,000 to 6,000 simple eyes. They cannot focus up close on objects, instead they have a mosaic view of everything around them.

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How many ocelli do flies boast?
one
two
three
Flies have three ocelli at the top of their head, between their compound eyes, which act as a compass.

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What is a fly's proboscis similar to?
a plunger
A fly's proboscis, the organ which enables it to eat, extends from the bottom of its head. It is similar to a plunger.
a spade
a fork

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What enables the fly to taste the food it eats?
the labellum
the maxillary pulps
It is the maxillary pulps, two antenna like feelers, that enable a fly to taste the food it eats.
the halters

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Which species of fly bites?
horseflies
houseflies
Houseflies do not have the ability to bite. However, horseflies and stable flies, similar in looks to the housefly, can bite.
soldier flies

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How many pairs of wings do houseflies have?
one
two
From afar, it looks like flies have only one set of wings. An up close inspection reveals that there is small set of hind wings, called halters, below the main pair.
three

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How can you differentiate between a fannia canicularis and a musca domestica?
The fannia canicularis buzzes louder than the musca domestica.
The fannia canicularis is more streamlined than the musca domestica.
The fannia canicularis, otherwise known as the lesser housefly, is more streamlined than the musca domestica, because it folds its wings back at a sharper angle.
The fannia canicularis is larger than the musca domestica.

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What happens to a fly if one of their halter wings is removed?
They will fly slower.
They will not be affected, the halter wings don't actually do much.
They will only be able to fly in circles.
Flies use their halter wings to help them keep their balance in the air. If one is removed, they will be able to fly only in circles; if both are removed, they won't be able to take off at all.

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At what speed do a fly's primary wings operate?
1.5 miles an hour (2.4 kilometers)
2.5 miles an hour (4 kilometers)
4.5 miles an hour (7.24 kilometers)
A fly's wings beat 200 to 300 times a second, enabling them to travel at an average speed of 4.5 miles (7.2 kph) an hour.

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To what human body part can a fly's tarsi be compared to?
taste buds
A fly has tarsi, tiny hairs on its end leg segment, that function like human taste buds.
nose
tongue

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What is a male fly's reproductive organ called?
tentacle
ovipositor
aedegus
A male fly's sperm-depositing organ is called an aedegus; a female's reproductive organ is called an ovipositor.

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What kind of food is a fly designed to consume?
food of animal origin
partially decomposed food
liquefied food
A fly can only suck, not chew, so it is designed to eat liquefied food only. To deal with this, the fly spits saliva and digestive juices onto the food, waits for it to break it down and then sucks it all up.

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How long does it take for a fly to develop from an egg into an adult fly?
one week
In optimal conditions, that is, in warm conditions, it takes seven to ten days for an egg to become an adult.
one month
one year

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What are fly's social habits?
Males and females remain together after mating.
Females tend to their young.
They are solitary creatures.
Flies are solitary creatures. They lay their eggs and then leave them to fend for themselves in an area safe from predators and with an abundant food supply.

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What are fly larvae called?
maggots
Fly larvae are called maggots. They look like worms with hooked mouths.
nymphs
caterpillars

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What is the best and simplest way to keep your house fly-free?
Maintain good hygiene.
The best way to keep flies out of your home is to maintain good hygiene. Because they breed on waste materials, the less waste you have around, the less place they will have to breed.
Keep pet spiders.
Use a fly swatter.

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/Joseph Calev

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