The flies (Diptera)
Flies (Diptera) As is common in the Arctic the flies, Diptera, form the most numerous insects. Perhaps the most noticeable being the non-biting chironomids numerous in the summer. These spend most of their lives as larvae before pupating and emerging as adults. Since the adults do not feed they have a short period as an adult. To conserve energy the males often wait on the ground until they hear a female fly past, responding to the sound of her wings. This behaviour was deduced by a Finnish biologist who observed that he could induce the males to take to the air by humming a Finnish folk tune.
There are also mosquitoes on Svalbard. These can be extremely numerous, especially in Adventdalen, around Brucebyen and Kapp Thordsen. The species is irritating but not thought to spread disease on Svalbard. The commonly repeated story that the mosquito was accidentally imported to Svalbard by phosphate miners is, unfortunately, likely to be incorrect (See Box in Where do they come from?).