8 Stories

Scientists Discover Why Biting Flies Are Attracted to Blue

Daytime biting flies misclassify blue objects as animals

(Newser) - Bluebirds, blue-tailed skinks, blue whales, and Babe the Big Blue Ox aside, blue animals are rare in nature, but biting flies still associate the color with food, researchers say. Lead researcher Roger Santer from Aberystwyth University in Wales says entomologists have long known that biting flies active in the daytime,...

Murder Case Hinges on Whether Vegas Flies Are Unique
What if Dead Bodies in
Vegas Don't Attract Flies?

What if Dead Bodies in Vegas Don't Attract Flies?

It's unlikely, but it's the state's best hope to keep convicted murderer locked up

(Newser) - A state prosecutor is trying to keep a woman convicted of a brutal murder behind bars—and to do so she must prove the flies in Las Vegas are somehow different than flies everywhere else in the world. It's a pretty big ask, the Intercept reports in an update...

This Disfiguring Disease Has Crossed the US Border

Cases of the tropical disease are cropping up in Texas and Oklahoma

(Newser) - A sometimes lethal parasitic disease that can leave its victims with crater-like ulcers and grayish skin tones has never much bothered those within the confines of the US—until now. Between 2000 and 2007, 13 autochthonous cases—meaning victims contracted it here, as opposed to while traveling elsewhere—of leishmaniasis...

Kids Could Look Like Mom's Ex, Not Like Dad

At least in the fruit fly population, telegony study claims

(Newser) - Guys may unknowingly be leaving their mark on the world: Scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia have taken on what was widely considered to be the discredited theory of telegony—the idea that a woman's children might resemble not just her current sexual partner, but...

Zebra Stripe Mystery Solved, Researchers Say

Stripes help deter biting flies, not lions

(Newser) - The centuries-old puzzle of why zebras have stripes has been solved, and they're not there to confuse lions or for decoration, researchers say. A new study backs up the theory that stripes evolved as a way to deter biting flies , Real Clear Science reports. Researchers gathered stripe pattern data...

Corpse-Eating Flies Are Back From the Dead

Rediscovered after disappearing for over a century

(Newser) - Bone-skippers—flies that feast on large, decaying dead bodies—were believed to be extinct for more than a century. But three species of the fly have been spotted in Europe in recent years, sparking a renewed interest in these seriously creepy-crawlies, reports LiveScience . The first part of the name comes...

World's Tiniest Fly Beheads Tiny Ants

Found in Thailand, E. nanaknihali smaller than a grain of salt

(Newser) - It's the tiniest fly species known in the world, smaller than a grain of salt, and apparently it likes to eat ant heads, reports LiveScience . Euryplatea nanaknihali, a newly discovered species from Thailand, is from a fly genus known for decapitating ants and is believed to attack some of...

New Rule for Beijing Public Toilets: Only 2 Flies

China's capital seeks to clean up bathrooms

(Newser) - The Chinese government is implementing new rules to spruce up its capital city's notoriously dirty public bathrooms. The weirdest of the bunch: a toilet in Beijing can be home to a maximum of two flies, reports the BBC . It's not clear how rigidly the measures will be enforced,...

8 Stories