Educational Questions & Answers

Why do houseflies rub their front legs together?

Housefly (Musca Domestica) is a common insect found in all places. It has a very short life span. Adult houseflies feed on human and animal food and waste materials and often use buildings as shelter.

The housefly is well adapted in structure and behaviour to transmit disease causing organisms from place to place.

The body of a housefly is covered with fine hairs and bristles that readily pick up filth particles.

At the base of each leg there is a cushion-like structure covered with granular hairs.A sticky secretion which excretes from the granular hairs gathers bacteria and other micro organisms which stick to the legs. In order to clean its body and the legs, houseflies rub their legs together. It is estimated that whenever a housefly rubs its legs, lakhs of bacteria are discharged from the legs for each rubbing.

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Why do houseflies rub their front legs together?