Category: Nature Photography
Posted: May 28, 2018

Blowfly with drop

Green, green

by CREZart

Macro Photos Contest Entry 
When I took this I thought the drop really didn't look exactly like water so I did some research. I found this article too be quite interesting.
Blowflies don't sweat. However, they have raised cooling by drooling to a high art.
In hot times, these sturdy, big-eyed flies repeatedly release ? and then retract ? a drop of cooling saliva. Denis Andrade reported the trick January 4. He was speaking at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. He studies ecology and evolution at the Universidade Estadual Paulista. That?s in Rio Claro, Brazil.
The fly?s technique isn?t sweating. That is what keeps people cool. Sweat evaporates taking a tiny amount of body heat with it. Blowfly droplets put the cooling power of their natural fluids to use in a different way, explains Andrade.
The saliva hangs on a fly?s mouthparts. There, the droplet starts to lose some of its heat to the air. When the droplet has cooled a bit, the fly then slurps it back in, Andrade and colleagues showed.
X-ray images showed the sucked-up droplet in the fly?s throatlike passage near the animal?s brain. The same droplet seemed to be released, cooled, drawn back in and then drooled again. The insect repeated this several times in a row.
This may prevent dangerous overheating, Andrade proposes. After several droolings, the fly?s body temp can drop up to 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) below that of the surrounding air.
Andrade had never seen a report of this saliva droplet in-and-out technique before he and a colleague noticed it. They had been watching blowfly temperatures for other reasons. But in 2012, Chloé Lahondère and a colleague described something similar ? in mosquitoes.
Post Type: Photography
Mixed Media: Minor sharpened, cropped

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