Do Flies Fart? Flatulence In Flies


Although this isn’t the most pleasant topic to talk about, passing gas or farting is something we all do, and flies are no exception! When there’s a buildup of gas “methane” in our digestive system, at some point, it needs to be released, the same thing happens to flies.

Like most life forms, flies have an intestinal tract and digestion system that processes and creates methane. The methane passes through the intestinal tract until it reaches the fly’s anus where it finally exits the body.

However, to explain this in more detail we need to first take a look at the fly’s digestive system where this all originates!

After all, what we eat also plays a part in flatulence. This way your get a better understanding of how and why flies fart and also answer some other related questions you may have.

Flies Digestive System

Believe it or not, ” the word fart” “or passing wind” is not an accepted medical term, which is basically gas passing from the digestive system straight out of the anus, but instead is called flatulence or flatus.

For flies flatulence, “farts” starts in the stomach due to microbial life living in the insect’s gut, this is called “gut microbiome” which is basically responsible for digestive gas production. Even us humans have microbiota present in our digestive system, however, it’s far less complex in flies!

Since they cannot chew, all flies have a liquid diet. So, to dissolve solid food, flies regurgitate saliva from their stomach, which then dissolves the food into liquid form so it’s digestible.

When flies ingest their food, their digestive system moves extremely fast going through the midgut by peristalsis and then joining the metabolic waste delivered by the Malpighian tubules. As a result, flies defecate and fart quite often!

Food And Fly Farts

Flies are known to eat some of the most grotesque things from “feces to rotting meat” you name it. If it smells bad enough, chances are flies will feast upon it. However, what they eat can also contribute to flatulence.

For example, with us humans, when we eat certain foods it can cause a slight side effect, “intestinal gas”, most of us have experienced this in one way or another, especially with foods like:

  • Dairy Products
  • Processed Foods
  • Foods That Is High In Sugar

The same can happen to flies, which could also increase their digestion making them fart more frequently. Although there’s been no studies or evidence to support this claim the chances are high that the type of food flies eat will contribute to their farts.

How Often Do Flies Fart?

Unfortunately, there is no evidence to show how often a fly farts. However, due to the amount of food flies consume and how fast they can digest it, it’s very likely that flies fart on a regular basis.

In fact, Flies can consume 1.5 ± 0.04 μl, of food per day, that’s an impressive 1.7× their body mass!

Of course, eating this much food will cause flies to expel gas, and the harder their digestive system works, the more gas builds up in their stomach, causing them to fart more often.

Do Flies Fart During Flight?

Because flies are always on the move it doesn’t really matter whether they are airborne or not, if they need to release methane gas out of their rectum they will, without question.

This is a completely natural process and there’s no way it can be avoided. There are some animals that can hold it in their farts like the Manatee so they can remain buoyant in the water.

However, as we know, flies are just insects and they don’t have this ability nor would they know it’s even happening.

Even if they did, it’s not like they would land fart, and then take off again! they would simply fart while flying. But again! unfortunately, there’s no evidence to support this theory! All we can do is guess based on their diet and digestion.

What Does A Flies Fart Sound Like?

Most flies vary in size depending on the species, however, the most common type of fly only reaches 1/8-1/4” (4 to 7.5 mm) in size. So you can imagine how small their rectum will be.

With that said, just because something is small doesn’t necessarily mean it will produce low sound. But in this case, it does!

The size of the fly’s rectum is just too small to produce sound that a human ear can hear. Unless you have a microphone close to the fly’s anus it’s highly like you would hear!

So until there is more evidence to support this, we would have to say that a flies fart has no sound. At less not enough for human ears to hear!

Can You Smell A Flies Fart?

The same go for their fart smell. The amount of methane needed for us to smell would be more than what flies can produce in one go. Meaning you wouldn’t be able to smell it.

Now, I know what your thinking, we can’t smell a fart from a single fly but what if there was a large group of them buzzing around farting at will, could we smell it then?

It is possible, but because we don’t know what a fly’s fart smells like, the question is how would we know if they did?

Other Insects That Fart

Although the topic of flys farting is lacking some evidence there is another insect that does fart. One species of insect imparticular is the “Lomamyia Latipennis

In fact, there was a study in 1981 that found the larvae of “Lomamyia Latipennis” which feeds on termites use their methane, to stun termites before consuming them.

Final Thoughts

So yes flies do fart, but how many, and how often this happens is based mainly on the fly’s diet and the type of food they consume!

Basically, until there’s an actual study performed on flies farting like there was on the Lomamyia Latipennis we may never be able to answer all these questions in full. All we can say for sure is flies do indeed fart.

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