14 November 2013

A fruit fly's wing markings mimic ants

The art appears on the fruit fly’s wings. These translucent appendages contain what has been called the image of an ant. The perfect image is of what appears to be at first glance “ant-like.” Six legs, a pair of antennae, head, thorax and “tapered” abdomen. According to fly specialist Dr Brigitte Howarth, from the Zayed University, the images are “absolutely perfect.” It was the doctor who first spotted the Goniurellia tridens in the UAE.

The G. tridens is part of the tephritidae family that includes 5,000 different species of fruit flies. These insects are also known as peacock flies because of their colorful body markings. These particular fruit flies are called the picture wing species and there are 27 different types who have wing images that range from simple shapes to very complex, like the fly that Dr Howarth discovered...
More at the link.


  1. Yeah, this picture freaks me out every time I see it. BTW, latest thought is that the wing markings mimic spiders and not ants. YMMV.



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