the flies are learning to bother even in winter

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A squid trap in poor condition, sand, stones and a questionable smell. No, we are not talking about any low-class beach bar, we are talking about the small mechanisms that scientists use to capture insects and take samples that allow us to know how the flora and fauna of the different regions of the country evolve. No one said being an entomologist was easy, but someone has to do it.

Among other things, because without those traps we would not have been able to discover that the flies They are learning to live in winter.

In defense of winter… Yes, you heard right: flies in winter. And it is that if there is something fantastic about winter it is that (despite the tiny days, the lack of vacations, the cold, the rain and colds) there are no flies. I have always been a great defender of winter, but (even if I wasn’t) the lack of flies would seem like a strong argument to me.

The heart of this fruit fly beats to the rhythm of a laser

Why are there no flies in winter? Indeed, it is very difficult to meet a fly in winter. However, it is not so much that they disappear as that, being insects that live on decomposing food, they concentrate their pre-adult stages (egg, larva and pupa phases) in the coldest months. In this way, they reach adulthood at a time when there is more food and (even though they only live between 15 and 25 days on average) they have time to start the entire reproductive cycle again.

two new flies However, two UAH researchers, Daniel Martín and Arturo Paz, were found two flies while examining the insect traps in the winter surveys and this is quite rare. In fact, the flies themselves seemed quite rare (and they weren’t unable to find such specimens in previous records). Therefore, they were sent to taxonomist Jorge Mederos.

Mederos confirmed that they were two species (of the genus Phyllolabis Osten Sacken, which has 49 known individuals around the world) never before described by the scientific community: Phyllolabis eiroae Y Phyllolabis martinhalli. Specifically, “both belong to the group of nematocera, insects with a thin body that have two narrow and long wings and very thin legs. In fact, being so stylized they come off easily, which makes it easier for them to escape from their predators if they catch them”, explained to SINC the researcher at the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (MCNB).

eat the first. Apparently, the flies have developed new adaptations that “gives them the advantage of being the first to go to the organic matter that is decomposing after the snow melts. In this way, they are complemented by other more active decomposers in the rest of the seasons of the year. That’s our hypothesis.”

Evolution, that ballsy fly. “Even in places where biodiversity has been studied for a century or more, new species continue to appear,” Mederos said and reason is not lacking. It is not just a matter of climate change pushing species to change, it is that human action itself generates dynamics that are the ideal breeding ground for the appearance of new adaptations.

In fact, these flies are just the beginning of a more than likely new generation of species that will surprise us (in every sense of that word).

A squid trap in poor condition, sand, stones and a questionable smell. No, we are not talking about any low-class…

A squid trap in poor condition, sand, stones and a questionable smell. No, we are not talking about any low-class…

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