"Masquerade Flies are always a joy to watch, it's almost like magic how well they are able to mimic the object they are standing on. I couldn't tell you the amount of times I jumped during my travels, watching leaves and other things suddenly sprout wings and fly away. I'm almost baffled they never made my hair turn grey." -William Tancard's: Guide to Haven's Glorious Creatures.
The Masquerade Fly is a common species of Diptera insect organsims native to the many temperate forests across planet Haven. They resemble your typical house fly and are a common food source for many species, making them an integral part to the ecosystem of any forest they are apart of.
Their name comes from their ability to almost instantaneously camouflage themselves with the same coloring and pattern of the surface they are currently standing on. The Masquerade Fly's global population is theorized to be around two hundred billion individual flies.
As an insect, the Masquerade Fly has an arthropod body, with a frail exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. It has six small legs, two wings on its back, two compound eyes on the sides of its head, and two front facing antenna. They are two inches long (five centimeters) and have an average weight of three hundred milligrams. A Masquerade Fly will typically fully mature in just three standard days, and have a life span of three standard weeks, a fairly long time frame for insects
They are extremely fast, being able to fly from danger at incredible speeds of up to twenty miles per hour, though they are still often caught and eaten by predator species. Their abilities of movement on land however is far less impressive, only being able to move two miles per hour.
Due to their compound eyes, a Masquerade Fly is able to see with a full three hundred and sixty degree field and perceive the world at a speed of around two hundred and fifty hertz, allowing them to escape most slower moving things then it. The antenna located upon the front of their heads also allows the Masquerade Fly to sense things around them in three hundred sixty degree five foot radius, making them able to sense most oncoming dangers on approach, though things moving fairly fast can often strike before the Masquerade Fly has time to react.
Their abilities of camouflage are their main and primary strength, being able to almost instantaneously take the color, pattern and texture of any surface they are standing upon to the most minute detail. These camouflages work very well, with only species that specifically evolved to locate them being able to detect a Masquerade Fly, though they often times are killed by complete coincidence as an animal may crush them not knowing they were there to begin with.
The Masquerade Fly, like most insects will typically spend its entire life foraging for food and mating as much as it possibly can before it dies, with a single Masquerade Fly being able to reproduce more then one thousand times. its diet is exclusively made up of leaves from trees, and thanks to their native environments, they are able to have an infinite food supply.
They are very cautious, never coming anywhere near any living thing that's larger then itself, often camouflaging themselves whenever they sense the slightest change in the area around them. This cautious nature usually pays off, and a Masquerade Fly will typically live to see the end of their lives naturally.