Alkali Flies in Mono Lake
The lake provides saline and alkaline conditions that favor the alkali fly to a great extent while disfavoring many organisms that may otherwise compete with the flies for food, space and other resources. While they are not subject to much competition in their natural habitat, the alkali flies are food to predators such as birds and humans. The flies also face a threat from certain environmental conditions such as water currents, waves, extremely high alkaline conditions, and cold temperatures. The following section of the paper discusses the Mono Lake alkali fly including its habitat, natural existence, and environmental factors that impact on its survival.Alkali flies, also known as, brine flies or Ephydrahians, are a very rare species to find. This is attributable to the fact that the species breeds well only in certain habitats, especially in alkaline waters. This probably explains why the insect is called the alkali fly. Found in Mono Lake, California, the fly breeds well on the surface, shorelines, as well as beneath the lake (Cash amp. Bradley 1994). Most of these species of flies are dark brown in color with an adult measuring between 4 to 7 mm long. The fly has a segmented thorax, which is bluish in color, while the wings are brownish in color. Unlike the ordinary flies, alkali flies normally spend most of their life circles entirely beneath the water surface. This makes the fly unique in addition to the fact that it breeds well in the alkaline environment.Mono Lake is one of the most dominant lakes in California. Circular in shape, Mono Lake draws most of its waters from the surrounding streams. However, since the lake has no outlet, the lake is highly alkaline (Jiang, Steward, Jellison, Chu amp. Choi 2004). This is attributable to the continuous accumulation of salt in the lake. A research conducted more than three decades ago indicated a correlation between the alkalinity of Mono Lake and the availability of alkali flies.