Flight Of The Stalk-Eyed Fly


Stalk-eyed flies are famous for having their eyes on long projections from the sides of their heads. Supposedly these extended eyestalks on the males are used to attract females. But does having long goofy eyes come with a cost –does it make it harder to fly? Researchers wanted to know the effect of eyestalk length on the moment of inertia of the body.  They also tested how differences in eyestalk length affect turning performance between female and male stalk-eyed flies, since the eyestalk length is part of sexual dimorphism.


Data Nuggets are NGSS-aligned lesson-plans that build off of real-world research. Students are given the raw data from an experiment and asked to draw their own conclusions. This lesson has a supplemental activity where students pretend to be stalk-eyed flies and have a race.

There are several Data Nuggets focused on Stalk-Eyed Flies:

Additional information

Grade Level


NGSS STEM Practices

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Standards Present


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PDF Download, Text/Web Page

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