Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have been wondering why would insects in general, not be scared when important changes happen on your monitor where they have landed...

If you move even just a finger, they are scared to death and fly away, but anything on my monitor and they remain completely placid.

share|improve this question

This question has an open bounty worth +100 reputation from Resonating ending in 7 days.

This question has not received enough attention.

Ha ha interesting question. Maybe 0.5 second of no change in graphics on your monitor is enough for a fly/mosquito/other to infer that the thing is not moving. And once they landed they may not see what under their feet and can't detect further movement. Or they might just understand that the thing they're walking on is not moving and therefore whatever they see, they grasp there is no danger. Also are you sure that the insects that land on your monitor are those that are really scared of movement such as mosquitoes for example. –  Remi.b May 25 '14 at 8:00
Today it was a large fly. I've mainly got flies, but saw some other insects there too. Note that I, on purpose, would say... move a window under the insect and saw absolutely no reaction. So I can say that there was rather heavy movement. –  Alexis Wilke May 25 '14 at 10:05
Hypothesis: Flies can resolve each individual frame and recognize that the screen is just changing color/don't notice that some of the flashing is changing colors. Hypothesis 2: The fly isn't looking at your finger but feeling your finger move with pressure senses. –  Resonating 6 hours ago
Hmmm... my finger is on the mouse, the fly is on the screen, so I'm not too sure about hypothesis 2... –  Alexis Wilke 5 hours ago
My guess: A fly's eyes are probably half a centimeter away from the screen, which means that they see pretty much all of the screen from a 90 degree angle. Try looking at your screen in a 90 degree angle and you wont see any changes either. –  Hav0k 5 hours ago

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.