|Common Nicknames||Corpse Fly, Bloat Fly, Jungle Bee|
Flies are among the most common creatures in all of Aloria and are an annoyance to members of all Races and Cultures from any walk of life. Though they are often trivialized, they are vital scavengers that aid in decomposition of dead animals to provide sustenance for trees, flowers, and scavengers. Some Flies are more of a nuisance than others, and some are even outright dangerous. Almost all of them are thought of as disease carriers and signs of dirt and decay.
As far as any scholars are aware, Flies have existed since the creation of Aloria, though almost none of the ancient people of Aloria have appeared to depict them. However, the Altalar were one of the few, and due to the small size and common-place presence across every social class in the temperate and tropical areas of the world, scholars have concluded that the animal must have always existed. There has been little study into the many species of Flies in recent times, but the base of Alorian knowledge on the topic is extensive. Today they are spread across the world very broadly and it is hard to think of a place where there is not at least one indigenous Fly species.
There are a great number of different species of Flies, each being quite distinguishable from the other in terms of appearance. That said, there are some basic characteristics that are present in all known varieties of Fly. Firstly, their body has three segments; the head, thorax, and abdomen. The head features large compound eyes, a pair of antennae, and some form of proboscis for consuming liquid foods. Six segmented legs and a single pair of wings are attached to the thorax, which is the segment in between the abdomen and the head, while most of the organs of the Fly are housed in the abdomen which extends behind. Flies are known for their ability to crawl on most surfaces, having a number of microscopic hook-like hairs on each of their feet to enhance their grip. Beyond these basic characteristics, the Fly is very diverse in terms of its physiology and appearance, with myriad color combination possibilities, proportional variations and feeding habits being possible.
There is little physical and observational difference between Flies of opposite sexes, or at least little that has been recorded. On average, females tend to be larger than males and sometimes have different coloration, but beyond that it is very difficult to tell the sexes apart. More broadly, however, there is great variation among separate species and subspecies, some of which are listed below. Because of the extremely large number of these creatures on Aloria and because of their remarkable diversity, it is theorized that despite the breadth of knowledge on these creatures, they are not even close to being fully classified and documented by naturalists.
- Common Fly: The Common Fly is what most would consider a Fly to look like; average sized, measuring between one-third and one-half inches long, with dark red compound eyes and grey, black or brown coloration. Adults of this species typically feed on nectar, and females lay their eggs in carrion. For this reason, there is a misconception that these Flies feed on decomposing animals, leading Common Flies to have a reputation of uncleanliness. With this reputation, they are unfairly believed to be major carriers of disease. In truth, however, they are no more vectors for disease than ants or wasps. These Flies are present in temperate regions such as Ithania, the Regalian Archipelago and in some regions of Essalonia.
- Swamp Fly: The Swamp Fly is a well-known spreader of diseases and pests that frequents the sewers of many major cities. Being one of the smaller Fly species, with slimmer proportions and often more colorful markings in orange and sometimes red, this species of Fly largely feeds on carrion and faeces. Thought to have originated in the swamps of Daen, these Flies have spread far across the world while hidden on ships and in trade caravans, infesting the sewer systems of many major settlements. They are widely considered to be the most prevalent vectors of Slithering Maggots beyond direct exposure to infected water, though this fact is largely viewed as superstition by scholars.
- Southern Fly: Known for its impressive size and wingspan, the Southern Fly is a rarer species native to Hadaria and Sendrass. Thought to have been brought to Hadaria by the Allar as they fled from their home, this species is quite scary with a length of up to three inches and wingspans as wide as four inches. Despite this, they are not hostile or indeed dangerous, feeding on nectar from tropical flowers. Intriguingly, the larvae of the Southern Fly hatch and spend the vast majority of their time inside an ant’s nest, being kept safe from potential predators and benefitting from a stock of food that the ants provide, before emerging as an adult after several months. Naturalists do not know why it is that the ants are not aggressive towards the grubs, but regardless, it is this luxurious start to life that allows this species of Fly to grow so large.
- Dark Fly: Dark Flies live exclusively in Drowda and the Far West, where they are a relatively passive element of the local ecosystem. Averaging around two inches long with a wingspan of two and three-quarter inches, these Flies are considered large, but not quite as oversized as some of the other wildlife indigenous to the islands. Known for their iridescent carapaces, these fascinating creatures come in a range of bright and unnatural colors; from purple to red, to even gold on occasion, and many Sihndar and Kathar prize them for their beautiful chitin. It is worth noting, however, that they will aggressively swarm over, bite, and attempt to consume any individual that uses Exist-based powers in their presence. They are some of the few Flies known to behave cooperatively in this way. This behavior is thought to be a result of Void corruption.
Life Span and Development
Flies, like most insects, begin life as tiny white eggs. These eggs are often laid in carrion, though a strange exception exists in the form of the Southern Fly, which lays its eggs near ant nests in the hopes that they will be discovered and brought to the food stores of the hive. All Flies have a larval stage, hatching from eggs after a few days as grubs, called maggots. They immediately begin feeding, gorging themselves on carrion or whatever food source is nearest, as most maggots are exclusively carnivorous. After a period of time anywhere between two days and four months, depending on the species, the maggot will pupate over the period of a week or so and eventually emerge as the adult Fly, also known as an imago. Lifespan varies greatly between species, as does egg clutch size; Dark Flies live for up to four years and lay single eggs only, where Common Flies live for no longer than a month and have been known to lay as many as fifty eggs at once.
Flies are generally accepted as very simple-minded creatures with an extremely basic level of intelligence. With the exception of Dark Flies, they are not aggressive towards other animals.
Territory and Groupings
Flies do not coordinate in groups or create nests or hives and are unable to be domesticated. Solitary, un-territorial, and largely passive, Flies are thought to only operate on basic instinct, with little to no thought whatsoever. That said, Dark Flies are a strange case in that they do seem to exhibit cooperative behavior in specific circumstances, namely in the presence of an Exist-based ability. This causes them to swarm and become aggressive, attacking the source with the intent of consuming it (despite being otherwise non-carnivorous). It is thought that this is a result of the Void energies tainting the landscape and life on Drowda.
- Dark Flies are not able to extract sustenance from the nectar of flowers not native to Drowda, which makes it impossible for them to spread.
- Southern Flies are often thought to be Void-tainted due to their great size. This is a misconception; they are simply large and do not seem to actually exhibit any signs of Void infestation.