The Fly is probably the most common insect in the world of Caelereth. This insect has usually two wings and two enormous eyes on its head. Flies are commonly thought to be vile and dirty, and this is true, for Flies are quite dangerous, carrying horrible, sometimes fatal, diseases. For this reason they and their larvae, known as maggots, are often associated with death and plague. However, they can also be quite helpful to plants by carrying pollen from flower to flower.
Appearance. The Fly tends to be a rather small insect on most accounts, but, depending upon the species, can vary between only a few grains in length to nearly 8 nailsbreadths long. In most all species of Fly, however, the body is split into three main segments: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. The body is covered in a thin, elastic sort of shell from where fine hairs protrude. Most Flies have dull black, gray, brown, or yellow bodies, but some may indeed be quite beautiful colors such as a shiny green, and golden yellow, or a deep Santharian purple. Some seem to sparkle in the shades of mithril or brass.
The Fly has two giant (comnpared to its size) compound eyes that cover most of its oval or triangular-shaped head. Some male Flies have eyes so huge that they actually squeeze together while females have eyes that are farther apart. The Fly’s head also has two antennae that warn it of danger and aid it in finding food. The antennae are located near the center of the head, usually between the eyes. The size and shape of these antennae vary greatly among species. Some have long, threadlike antennae whilst others have an elegant, feathery pair. Most researchers believe that these antennae are extremely sensitive and may even be able to sense cár’áll, but none are really sure.
The "mouth" of the Fly looks like a funnel, the broadest part near the head. This tube-like appendage is called the proboscis. Flies do not bite or chew food, though some may be able to inject their proboscis into a victims skin to drink blood. Often times this causes the victim's skin to swell and become irritated. Most scholars believe that the Fly injects some saliva into the victim to keep the blood from clotting. However, not all Flies drink blood. Fruit Flies have different mouthparts to aid them in their search for food. They have two, soft, oval-shaped parts that they use like a sponge to lap up liquids. Mouthparts of Flies differ greatly depending upon the species.
Flies in general have six legs, which extend from the thorax. These legs often have two joints and claws on each end to help them cling to flat surfaces such as walls or ceilings. Some Flies have a sticky residue on their feet that allows them to stick to smooth or slipper surfaces on windows or mirrors.
The wings also connect to the thorax, and are so thin that the veins can be seen in them. These veins both seem to carry blood to the wings and also helps to stiffen the wings for flight. Unlike many insects, the Fly does not have hind wings, but rather small weights in their place that help to balance and guide the Fly, making it easier to dart quickly and easily in any direction. Flies do not glide or land the way other insects do. A Fly beats its wings until its feet find something to land on. If a Fly is picked up such that its legs and wings are free, its wings will immediately begin to beat.
The abdomen is often the largest segment of the Fly’s body, and contains most of the inner organs.
Special Abilities. The special abilities of the Flies vary, but the species as a whole is amazing in their ability to survive in almost any climate. Flies are also unique in that they are perhaps the most dangerous of all pests known. They carry germs both outside and inside their bodies, sometimes in their fine hairs or on their legs. When a Fly “bites”, or touches an object, it leaves germs behind it. They can carry dangerous, even deadly, diseases, both in people, animals, and plants. People have since discovered ways of helping to stop Flies. Certain oils or treatments will kill them. Also, getting rid of stagnant water will limit the places where eggs can be laid.
Flies can move incredibly fast and can be awfully hard to catch. They are able to make quick turns to dash out of harm’s way, often out of the way of birds who would love to make a meal of them.
Territory. Flies are existent on every continent and in every possible habitat. They can be found on deserts feeling the sand for rotten flesh or plants. They can be found within forests on Nybelmar and in the vast plains and valleys in Sarvonia. Even in cold places they an be found, though often stealing a home within some poor man’s house.
Habitat/Behaviour. Flies are fairly independent creatures, coming together only to mate or to share some feast or an area where they may lay their eggs. They do not make true homes or houses, but rather merely Fly from place to place, searching for food or shelter. They are not by any means intelligent creatures, and, even after bumping into the same window several times, not being able to perceive the existence of a clear material separating it from whereever it’s trying to go. Many Flies seem to be attracted by light, especially in the night. Often times they can be seen buzzing around candles or lanterns, sometimes venturing near enough to be burned or to fall into the flames.
Diet. Flies do not eat food, but in fact are only capable of ingesting liquids. Depending on the species, the kinds of liquids that this creature drinks may vary. Some drink the blood of animals, usually mammals such as deer and people. Such Flies can commonly be found around the stables where they constantly harass the horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures that reside there. Still other Flies will drink the juice of fruits by lapping up the liquids that seep through the skin of the fruit, or else fruits that have fallen from their tree or have been half-eaten by another animal. Meldarapples and lythbéls are some examples of these.
Mating. Mating occurs rather sporadically among Flies, though it happens more often in summer than in winter. Mating is a fairly quick. Depending on the species of Fly, there may be some sort of courtship ritual. Some Fruit Flies, for example, have elaborate courtship rituals in which the male will put on some display or make some posture, or perhaps even sing songs. Other species will simply deposit their sperm in the female and be on their way, though for some species the female will hold the sperm and use it whenever she pleases. In any case, after a day or two after being fertilized, the eggs are laid.
The female will lay anywhere from 1 to 250 eggs at a time, depending on the species and the climate. In her lifetime, the female may lay over one thousand eggs. Depending on the species, she may simply drop the eggs in the water or on the ground, or perhaps in some other animal. Some species will even stack the eggs in neat bundles. The female lays the eggs through an organ in her abdomen as it seems. When laying her eggs, the common Housefly will usually push this organ out of her body and on to decaying plant or animal matter and then lay her eggs. Some species of Fly that lay their eggs on water will arrange them into what appear like little rafts. These eggs will float on the water until they hatch.
The eggs tend to be white or pale yellow, and may look like rizjo. These little eggs will hatch between 8 and 30 hours, but the time will ultimately depend on what species of Fly the eggs belong. After hatching, the young Fly larva emerges, appearing like worms or small caterpillars. These little wrigglers are known as maggots, and they will live happily in food, garbage, soil, water, and in dead plants or animals. Maggots are often associated with death given that they can often be found in the bodies of the dead. They may be white, brown, or even black. The Fly larva spends all its time eating and growing, and will molt often as it does. This worm-like stage may last anywhere from a few days to two years, depending on the species.
When departing from the larval stage, the young fly becomes a pupa. This is the final stage before adulthood. Some pupae born into water are active swimmers, but most that live on land remain quiet and reserved. To graduate into this stage, the larvae build a strong, oval-shaped case called a puparium. Some species, like the caterpillars of the butterfly and moth, may build a cocoon to protect itself. The pupa may be tan, brown, or black, usually blending in with its surrounding environment. While inside the puparium, the larva loses its worm-like form and begins to take the shape of a Fly. When the change is complete, it will break out of its pupa as an adult. The time within the puparium may vary from species to species, but for the average Housefly, this stage lasts from three to six days in hot weather and variably longer in cool weather.
When the Fly leaves the puparium, often its wings will still be soft and moist, but air dries the wings quickly and blood flows through them to make them stiff. Usually the wing tissues harden within a few hours or perhaps even a few days, depending on the species. As soon as this occurs, the Fly will fly away to find a mate. A Fly does not grow as it gets older, but will emerge from its pupa stage as a full-grown adult. However, abdomen may shrink or swell with food or eggs. Most adult Houseflies will live about 30 days in summer, and considerable longer in winter, when they are less active.
Usages. Though they can be rather dirty, Flies can be very helpful, too. They carry pollen from plant to plant on their legs, which are covered in fine hairs, much in the same way malise do.
Myth/Lore. The Fly is a creature that seems to be associated with death and disease, similar to the rat, and it is warned that people should do their best to rid their houses of these vile insects. This is a warning best taken, as the Fly does indeed carry certain fatal diseases. The young of the Flies are also commonly associated with death. Often times, several days after a battle, the corpses are filled with squirming maggots, and most are rather disgusted with these worm-like larvae. Despite their representation of death and plague, though, the fly is not commonly associated with Queprur, elven goddess of death. The Fly is more commonly thought to be part of a darker, more gruesome and twisted side to death, and neither their form nor behavior mirrors the elegance of the Goddess of Death. Overall, the Fly represents an unnatural death while the rat represents a fated, more delibrate death.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus