Bet you don't know this.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, go show your gratitude for this scavenger-pollinator that not just keeps our planet healthy but provides us our forever comfort food: chocolate.
But let's first start with our favorite source of beta-carotene: carrots! While bees are the well-known pollinators, “flies are actually much more important pollinator,” says Ed Spevak, curator of invertebrates at the Saint Louis Zoo in Missouri. But again, that's the case for carrots.
Blue bottles, blowflies, and hover flies are attracted by the large, flat blossoms of the carrot flower. So everytime you take a bite of that delicious carrot cake, perhaps say a little thank you for these insects.
Now for the most awaited insect that should fly under our gratitude radar, here's another tiny fly for you. Chocolate fans, I hope you'll still see these delicious darkness the same way after reading this.
Cacao trees of Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia are pollinated by--ta-duh!--chocolate midge flies! Yum! With their relatively small size (about one to three millimeters long), they are able to fit inside this plant's small flowers. There, they make the magic happen!
So, whenever you see a midge, go apologize for cursing on those house flies you hated. (They're giving us a favor, you see?)
Get weekly science updates in your inbox!