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    The structure of the eye of a fly

    The organs of sight of the common fly are located on the sides of the head where it is very difficult not to notice the huge bulging eyes of the insect. The eye of this insect has a complex structure and is called faceted (from the French word fasette - face). The fact is that the organ of vision is formed just from such 6-sided units - facets that resemble the honeycomb in shape (each such part of the fly's eye is perfectly visible under the microscope). These units are called ommatidia.

    There are about 4 thousand of such facets in the fly's eye, but this is not the limit: many other insects have much more of them. For example, in bees, there are 5,000 facets, in some butterflies, up to 17,000, and in dragonflies, the number of ommatidia is close to 30,000.

    Each of these 4 thousand facets is able to see only a small part of the whole image, and this puzzle brings the insect's brain into a single, overall picture.

    How flies see

    On average, the visual acuity of flies exceeds human capabilities by 3 times.

    Since the eyes of the flies are large and bulging, consisting of ommatidia (facets) on all sides of the surface of the eye, this structure quietly allows the insect to see at once in all directions - to the sides, up, back and forth. Such panoramic vision (it is also called circular) and helps the fly to notice the danger in time and retreat away immediately, which is why it is so difficult to swat it. Moreover, a fly is not only physically capable of seeing in different directions at once, but also purposefully looking around, as if surveying all the space around it at the same time.

    It is the numerous ommatidia that allow the fly to keep track of flickering and very fast moving objects without loss of image clarity. Relatively speaking, if a person’s vision is capable of capturing 16 frames per second, then a fly is 250 -300 frames / sec. This quality is necessary for flies not only for capturing movements from the side, but also for orientation and high-quality vision during fast flight.

    As for the color of the surrounding objects - flies see not only the primary colors, but also their most subtle shades, including ultraviolet, which is not given to man by nature. It turns out that the fly sees the world around us more rainbow than people. By the way, the volume of objects, these insects also see.

    Number of eyes

    As already mentioned, 2 large faceted eyes are located on the sides of the flies head. In females, the location of the organs of vision is somewhat extended (divided by a broad forehead), while in males, the eyes are slightly closer to each other.

    But on the midline of the forehead, behind complex faceted eyes, there are 3 more ordinary (non-faceted) eyes for additional vision. Most often they are included in the work when it is necessary to examine the subject closely, since a complex eye with perfect vision is not so necessary in this case. It turns out that all flies have 5 eyes.


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