The Flies Are Coming!

October 12, 2019 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

While we’re waiting for the political dust to settle, here’s a snippet of biology. Perhaps you will find it’s an appropriate metaphor for the strange behaviour being reported every day.

Fans of sci-fi and horror genres won’t be surprised to learn of the life cycle of the phorid fly. I promise I’m not making this up. As with so many insects, there are a phenomenal number of phorid species, estimated at 3500 world-wide, or about 2% of all animal species. WOW! All are quite tiny, from less than 1 mm to about 6 mm. One of the smallest has a particularly bizarre life cycle.

It all begins with copulation, which happens in the usual way, the male fertilising the female who lays about 100 eggs. The surprising thing is where she lays them. Have you heard of the fire ant? Let’s hope you’ve never been bitten by one, because their venom can cause severe pain, itching and blistering that lasts for several days. If you’re allergic to the bite, it can even kill you. Colonies of these ants pile up on the ground, foraging for smaller insects, and even attacking amphibians and small mammals that get in their way.

You’d think they were unstoppable.

In comparison with the phorid fly, the fire ant is tens of times larger. Yet, in about 110 of this parasitic species, the female phorid literally sneaks up on the ant, and quick as a flash, she lays one of her eggs into the soft fleshy parts between its thorax joints. She does this within the ant colony until all her fertilised eggs are laid. The flies have plenty of choice: each fire ant queen can itself lay about 1000 eggs every day; she can live for about seven years. That sure is alotta ants!

Now the process gets truly weird: the phorid eggs develop into ravenous larvae inside the ants’ bodies, devouring them and growing bigger and fatter. Their munching marathon pushes them into the heads of the ants, where they release a powerful enzyme that dissolves the membrane separating the head from the body. Then, POP! the head falls off. Let me say that again’ the head falls off!! And the larva consumes it from the inside for about two weeks, making its appearance as an adult phorid, ready for mating.

The whole cycle reminds me of the way our society dangles expectations of how to live our lives, blinding us with false promises, bribing us with illusion. Until our heads pop clean off. We don’t have to look to Hammer Horror to find the trap we’re in.

Much as I try, along with experts and sheeple, to find some shred of sense behind our daily news pablum, I can only conclude we just aren’t being given enough truth. I suspect, as with our eventual revelation of the phorid fly’s relationship with the fire ant, it will only be after years of testing the lies of our political parasites that we may begin to understand what we’re going through.

I wonder how many more socio-cultural decisions can be so wrongly made, how much longer we can continue destroying the Earth, before our heads explode as we sink under unforgiving waters.

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This post was written by outRageous!

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