How do flies land on the ceiling ?

Adelaide T C Carpenter Genetics atc12 at
Mon Oct 30 09:25:07 EST 1995

In article <199510281601.MAA03574 at> marr at CB.CSHL.ORG writes:
>>In article <46bhds$svd at>,
>>   jmfriedt at (Jean-Michel Friedt) wrote:
>>>Im sorry do disturb you, im not even sure if these are the right newsgroups
>>>to ask this :
>>>I have been looking for quite a while now at how flies land on the ceiling.
>>>I mean flies fly head up but land on the ceiling with their head toward the
>>>floor ... I've been wondering how they turn around from the head-up position
>>>to the head down position (no I am NOT crazy, i am just a physicist :).
>>>So what i am looking for would be a movie/video/pictures of flying insects
>>>landing in positions as different as possible from their flying position.
>>>I would be very happy if someone can answer me, and excuse me for my bad
>>>english. Thank you, Jean-Michel FRIEDT.
>>"They somersault.  They fly along very close to the ceiling, reach
>>up with their front feet, grab hold, and flip over."
>>That's quoting my own little book, "The Fly in Your Eye".  I wrote
>>it in 1989 and don't remember where I got the information, but
>>the whole text was checked by the Entomology Division of the
>>CSIRO in Australia, so it's correct.  Any flies in Australia
>>that do it differently are severely punished.
>>Jim Heath
>Do they flip in the same direction most of the time? Do they flip
>in the opposite direction in the northern hemisphere? And finally,
>by "severly punished" do you mean "squashed", hence providing strong
>selection pressure to skew the allele frequency towards conformists?

In UK English, a "somersalt" is a full roll (in this case, a backwards
roll);  what in the US is called a "somersalt" is, in UK English, a
cartwheel.  Yet another case of the differences -- 


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