How many eyes does a fly have?

We tell you all about the vision of these insects: how many eyes does a fly really have? how do they see? do they see in slow motion? do they see colors? Don’t miss it!

How many eyes do flies have?

Have you ever wondered what a fly’s eyes look like? In this article we tell you all about the vision of these insects. Did you know that their eyes are compound and have thousands of receptive units capable of detecting very fast movements? Maybe now you will begin to understand why they are so difficult to hunt!

Do flies have only one pair of eyes?

To the naked eye, flies have two large eyes. However, each eye is composed of thousands of individual internal eyes pointing in all directions called ommatidia. In this way, they can have an overall picture as if it were something like a mosaic; that is, they do not see a single complete image but thousands of tiny images, as if it were a puzzle.

The ommatidia are small hexagons that allow a slower visual perception of time and the ability to react quickly to danger, as well as providing flies with a visual field of about 360º; they see in all directions, which is why you never manage to catch them! In addition to the two visible eyes, flies have three more eyes located between them called ocelli. These are simple eyes that allow them to see upward and perceive the intensity of light, but they do not focus on objects or capture images.

What are the eyes of flies like?

Now that you know how many eyes a fly has, we want to tell you some characteristics about them. The eyes of this small animal are among the most complex in the insect world.

  • Compound eyes made up of thousands of tiny individual eyes.
  • They lack a central lens.
  • They have no eyelids.
  • They have no pupils.
  • They have a low image resolution.
  • They have a great capacity to perceive light and movement.
  • Its viewing angle is approximately 360º.
  • Come in slow motion.
  • They see some colors but with difficulty.

What is the vision of flies like?

The vision of flies is not as sharp and high quality as ours or that of other animals; however, they can see almost 360º and perceive movement very well. Its field of vision is fragmented into thousands of small images that it perceives for each mosaic-shaped, non-repeating ommatidia.

Flies see very differently from humans. They interpret movement, light, color and shapes differently than we do. For example, while we can only focus on looking at one thing, they can see many things at once. They also do not have the ability to control the light that enters their eyes because they do not have pupils. In addition, they have difficulty seeing colors and there are some colors they do not see, such as red.

In short, answering the question “how many eyes does a fly have”:

  • Two compound eyes with thousands of tiny internal eyes called ommatidia
  • Three simple eyes called ocelli

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