Stalk Eyed Fly Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Stalk Eyed Fly

Scientific Name:


Wild Status:

Least concern


Humid environments near rivers and streams


Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, North America, Europe


Low-laying vegetation

Life Span:

Up to 2 months in camptivity


1 cm

Cool Facts:

  • Males have a wider sight range that females, this mean that the stalks in which their eyes rest, are longer. It is believed that their stalk are longer because it is a favorable trait with female mates.
  • Stalk-eyed flies return to the same resting area at night. They prefer to hang on to thread-like st structures, like root hairs.
  • When they emerge from pupae, they have the ability to inhale air and pump it through the ducts in their head. This can help elongate their eye-stalks while they are still soft.
  • Their fossilized ancestors are easily identifiable because of their stalk-eyes


Stalk-eyed flies are small to medium-sized flies in the family Diopsidae. They are characterized by their peculiar eyes, which rest on top of stalks. This help increase their sight range, but it does come at a cost. Their stalk eyes decrease their aerodynamic. Adult Stalk-eyed flies feed mainly on fungi and bacteria from decaying plants, while their larvae feed on fresh and decaying plants. They are found in tropical and humid areas across the world, particularly near moving freshwater.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Diptera Section: Schizophora Subsection: Acalyptratae Superfamily: Tanypezoidea Family: Diopsidae

Conservation & Helping:

Species in the Stalk-eyed fly family are not in the Endangered Species List.

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