Thursday, July 24, 2008

Common Housefly Life Cycle In Time-lapse

Click the pic to view the large quicktime version
Time-lapse fly development, 640x480, .mov, 9.9 mb, 2 min.
Click the pic to view the AVI version
Time-lapse fly development, 640x480, .AVI, 9 mb, 2 min.

This is a time-lapse video of the growth and devopment of the common housefly, Musca domestica. I started the project by taking a leftover piece of baked chicken and leaving it outside, in the warm summer sun for a few hours. I then took the container in overnight. By the time I came back the next afternoon, the eggs had hatched. This is where the video picks up. After about 4 days, I moved some of the maggots to the glass container, where it was cooler and dry, so they could pupate, which began taking place a couple of days later. Then, I removed the pupae and placed them in the small bowl containing sand. I left the glass container in view in the back so the remaining larvae could continue to be observed. As an afterthought, I placed a larva that had gotten away on the sand beside the pupae and luckily it stayed in view as it prepared to pupate. You can see the pupae darken as they age, which is typical. After about 5 days the adult flies began to emerge and this lasted for several more days. I used my Canon PowerShot S3 IS and GBTimelapse software on a laptop. Until the adult flies emerged, I was shooting each picture at a rate of 1 picture every 3 to eight minutes. Then I had to speed it up to every 5 seconds because they came out so fast. The movie was then played back at 30 fps. I used Sony Acid Music Studio to make the accompanying music. The YouTube version of this video is available here. I also Made a real time video of an emerging fly which can be seen below or a higher quality wmv version can be seen here.

I used the U of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences' web page for the house fly as my resource for the expected timing of the stages of development and other information.

All my time-lapse and other videos viewed from my time-lapse home page or on my YouTube player page.

Don't forget to check out Modulator's Friday Ark.

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