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house fly (Musca domestica)

closeup of house fly facing to right, viewed from side, standing on the surface of a green leaf

For many insects, the first point of contact with a food source is the legs. When a house fly’s (Musca domestica) legs are stimulated by an appetitive food source, the mouth parts extend for consumption, whereas contact with aversive compounds inhibits extension. A new review in Annals of the Entomological Society of America tallies tasting techniques across insect orders and finds a line of research ripe for deeper exploration. (Photo by Nikolai Vladimirov via iNaturalist, CC BY-NC 4.0)

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