Counting Horn Flies: No Easy Task, Whether In Person or In a Photo

horn fly

By Ed Ricciuti If your job is counting horn flies, a twitch of a cow’s hide can go a long way toward ruining your day. OK, perhaps that is a stretch, but it accurately describes a problem facing pest control managers who must manage a blood-sucking parasite that costs the cattle industry $1 billion a […]

New Research Reveals How Flesh Flies Hear

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists have clocked many hours studying how females of various parasitoid flies home in on the calls of cicadas, grasshoppers, and other insects that are their hosts. Research into the mechanics and workings of the ears that are used to do it, however, is far less glitzy and has received scant attention, […]

Infrared Photography Shows Tsetse Fly Development from Pupa to Adult

By Ed Ricciuti Researchers employing near infrared still photographs and time-lapse video have peered into the pupa of the living tsetse fly and for the first time have watched its development unfold from its start as a larva to its completion and emergence as an adult. The research is described in the Journal of Insect […]

“Rare” Butterfly Feeds on Oak Galls and Other Non-Nectar Sources

By Ed Ricciuti In an era when reports proliferate about species careening towards extinction, field research by two University of Connecticut (UCONN) entomologists has turned up refreshing news: a subspecies of butterfly considered among the rarest in eastern North America may not be so scarce after all. The perceived rarity of the northern oak hairstreak […]

Parasitoid Flies Are Attracted to the Sounds of Their Cicada Hosts

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists have pondered why males of certain parasitoid fly species have ears that apparently function well enough but, as the Bible says, seemingly “do not hear,” while females with exactly the same auditory apparatus sonically locate cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets, and other hosts for their larvae. However, according to research published in the […]