Although finding fruit flies in your wine or beer can be a bit annoying, I hope people will pause to admire the tenacity of these clever little creatures. They are really just hungry animals looking for something to eat, and have no intention of ruining your happy hour.
I'm obsessed with insects, particularly insect flight. I think the evolution of insect flight is perhaps one of the most important events in the history of life. Without insects, there'd be no flowering plants. Without flowering plants, there would be no clever, fruit-eating primates giving TED Talks.
Like many insects, flies are most sensitive to green light. This means that they would see their world as 'black and white,' in that they can't see the multiple colors required to reconstruct a color image of the world. They do, however, have specialized cells that enable them to see ultraviolet wavelengths.
When it first notices an approaching threat, a fly's body might be in any sort of posture depending on what it was doing at the time, like grooming, feeding, walking, or courting. Our experiments showed that the fly somehow 'knows' whether it needs to make large or small postural changes to reach the correct preflight posture.
Only flies have true halteres. In fact, the scientific term for flies, 'diptera,' means 'two wings.' Most insects, including bees, have two pairs of wings for a total of four. In flies, the hindwing pairs have been transformed through evolution into the halteres.