eli5: Why do some insects react insanely fast when you try to whack at them and some insects didn’t even see it coming?

41 views
0

eli5: Why do some insects react insanely fast when you try to whack at them and some insects didn’t even see it coming?

In: 53

[removed]

It’s the rate of images per second their brains can perceive. We refer to this as the “flicker fusion rate” – which is how fast a light has to be turning on and off before it is perceived as a continuous light. If a light flickers on and off 60 times per second a human will see a continous light. For a fly this rate increases to 400 times per second. All this extra visual sensory information allows for a much quicker reaction time – as flies literally perceives time to go much slower relative to human beings.

Insects like flies’ defense mechanisms are to evade being smashed whilst insects like mosquitoes’ defense mechanisms are to not be detected

Insects are like super simple computers with extremely limited memory. Evolution had to choose what to expend that memory on. Flies react to potential danger almost like your hand on a hot oven moving before you can even register the pain, they can do this because they don’t have memory expended to being stealthy. Mosquitoes have a lot of that memory expended to remaining undetected, for example they numb the area they want to bite, don’t make much noise, etc.

Flies react the fastest because they have a direct connection from the sensors that sense changes in air to the nerves that control their wings. They start flying even before they realize.

I’m not a biology expert but I’d like if someone can confirm this, I suppose a lot of insects aren’t actually reacting to you visually trying to hit them but rather they adapt to the sudden change of wind you create with motion