Stalk-Eyed Fly Size And Compensation


Stalk-eyed flies have their eyes on long projections from the sides of their heads. It’s thought that the eyestalks of males are extra long to attract females. But having long goofy eyes also has a cost. Is there a relationship between male eye span length and wing area? Does having larger wings help flies balance their big eyes?

Data Nuggets are NGSS-aligned lesson-plans that build off of real-world research. Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but requires students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

Supplemental resources for this lesson:

  • Teacher guide/answer key (available via email)
  • Grading Rubric
  • links to original research papers
  • Video of stalk-eyed fly in flight
  • Powerpoint of images

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

Additional information

Grade Level


NGSS STEM Practices

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Resource Type

Standards Present


Media Format

PDF Download, Text/Web Page

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