After a long unintentional hiatus from posting Monday Mandarin Meanings, I present here some Chinese characters, shuāngchìmù:
I chose this word because it means Diptera (the order of flies), and I have posted a couple of fly pictures recently, seen here and here. The word shuāng means “two” or “pair”, chì means “wing”, and mù means “order” as in taxonomic order, so the word means two-winged order.
This is because all flies only have a single pair of wings, a trait which separates them from all other orders. The second pair of wings are reduced to halteres, which look like little circular bulbs on a stick. You can see them on this crane fly from my backyard, below:
The visible haltere is below the wing. You can also see them in this picture, although they’re a bit harder to see:
Now you will never confuse a bee and a bee-mimicking fly ever again!