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Unlikely Pollinators: Flies

When we think of pollinators, bees and butterflies often come to mind. However, flies also play a crucial role in the pollination process, even though they may not receive the recognition they deserve. Flies, particularly hover flies and flower flies, are effective pollinators for a wide range of plants.

Flies are attracted to flowers by their scent and visual cues. As they feed on nectar or pollen, they inadvertently transfer pollen grains from one flower to another. While flies may not be as efficient as bees or butterflies in terms of distance covered, they compensate through their sheer numbers and frequent visits to flowers.

Interestingly, some plant species have evolved specific adaptations to attract flies. Some flowers that attract beneficial flies include: Sunflowers, herbs (such as fennel, dill, parsley, and cilantro), aster flowers, and lavender flowers.

Although flies might not be as interesting or pretty as their pollinator counterparts, they do play an important role in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. So, the next time you see a fly hovering around a flower, remember to appreciate their often overlooked contribution to the beauty and abundance of our natural world.

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