bbsrc
bbsrc:

Meet Drosophila melanogaster - the common fruit fly 
Researchers form University College London are studying the ‘body clock’ of these common crawlies,to help overcome the negative impacts of desynchronised body clocks in humans  - caused by shift work, ageing, or mutation of clock genes.
Life on our planet is embedded in the daily rhythms of light/dark and temperature changes caused by the earths’ rotation. Our internal circadian clock, often referred to as the ‘body clock’, creates the internal rhythm which tells our bodies when to sleep and regulates many other physiological processes. The clock enables us to anticipate environmental changes and adapt our physiology and behaviour to the local time in our external world. This synchronization between internal and external time is important for the fitness and well-being of all organisms, ranging from bacteria to humans.
BBSRC-funded Ralf Stanewsky and his team study the genetic, molecular, and neuronal mechanisms of how these environmental signals – such as daily light and temperature changes – affect the circadian clock of the fruit fly.They hope to identify general principles of circadian clock synchronization, so that these features can be adapted and used to protect against adverse health linked to disrupted body clocks.
Image from Ralf Stanewsky at University College London
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1lMFugo
For more Drosophila related news visit: http://bit.ly/1hDqIDz

bbsrc:

Meet Drosophila melanogaster - the common fruit fly 

Researchers form University College London are studying the ‘body clock’ of these common crawlies,to help overcome the negative impacts of desynchronised body clocks in humans  - caused by shift work, ageing, or mutation of clock genes.

Life on our planet is embedded in the daily rhythms of light/dark and temperature changes caused by the earths’ rotation. Our internal circadian clock, often referred to as the ‘body clock’, creates the internal rhythm which tells our bodies when to sleep and regulates many other physiological processes. The clock enables us to anticipate environmental changes and adapt our physiology and behaviour to the local time in our external world. This synchronization between internal and external time is important for the fitness and well-being of all organisms, ranging from bacteria to humans.

BBSRC-funded Ralf Stanewsky and his team study the genetic, molecular, and neuronal mechanisms of how these environmental signals – such as daily light and temperature changes – affect the circadian clock of the fruit fly.They hope to identify general principles of circadian clock synchronization, so that these features can be adapted and used to protect against adverse health linked to disrupted body clocks.

Image from Ralf Stanewsky at University College London

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1lMFugo

For more Drosophila related news visit: http://bit.ly/1hDqIDz

Lovebugs  (Plecia nearctica) 
… are a type of march fly (not a true but, but indeed a fly, despite the common name), found in the southeast US and parts of Central America. 
They get their common name from their mating behavior - pairs remained coupled for up to days at a time during copulation. Males are smaller than females, but have larger eyes that perhaps help them better locate a mate. 
The adults emerge in large flights in late spring and late summer, which may number hundreds of thousands over the course of a few weeks, though individuals only live for a few days each. These swarms often occur in roadside habitats, becoming a nuisance to motorists when they hit the windshield. 
Adults feed on nectar during their brief lifespan; the larvae feed on decaying vegetation.photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife (MyFWCmedia) on Flickr
(via: Peterson Field Guides)

Lovebugs (Plecia nearctica)

… are a type of march fly (not a true but, but indeed a fly, despite the common name), found in the southeast US and parts of Central America.

They get their common name from their mating behavior - pairs remained coupled for up to days at a time during copulation. Males are smaller than females, but have larger eyes that perhaps help them better locate a mate.

The adults emerge in large flights in late spring and late summer, which may number hundreds of thousands over the course of a few weeks, though individuals only live for a few days each. These swarms often occur in roadside habitats, becoming a nuisance to motorists when they hit the windshield.

Adults feed on nectar during their brief lifespan; the larvae feed on decaying vegetation.

photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife (MyFWCmedia) on Flickr

(via: Peterson Field Guides)

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

Hyperechia nigrita
…is a species of robber fly (Asilidae) that occurs throughout Central Africa. Like other robber flies this species is a mimic of bees, with it sporting a coloration similar to Carpenter bees of the genus Xylocopa. It likely uses this coloration to allow its self to get closer to its prey, which most likely consists mainly of bees and other insects, which are taken in flight.
Classification
Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Diptera-Asilidae-Hyperchia-H. nigrita
Image: Bernhard Jacobi

astronomy-to-zoology:

Hyperechia nigrita

…is a species of robber fly (Asilidae) that occurs throughout Central Africa. Like other robber flies this species is a mimic of bees, with it sporting a coloration similar to Carpenter bees of the genus Xylocopa. It likely uses this coloration to allow its self to get closer to its prey, which most likely consists mainly of bees and other insects, which are taken in flight.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Diptera-Asilidae-Hyperchia-H. nigrita

Image: Bernhard Jacobi

Fly ID - California, USA :
Saw this little fly on my orange peel in Burbank, California (southern) when I startled him he “flexed” his wings and they turned horizontally and he had a fuzzy bottom. He wasn’t very timid and he was a little smaller than the average fly… Any idea what he could be?
Paxon:
Oh, I have some idea :) It’s a Mediterranean Fruit Fly aka Medfly (Ceratitis capitata). As the name would suggest, it’s originally from the area around the Mediterranean, but has been introduced into the United States (as well as other parts of the world).
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Ceratitis_capitata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratitis_capitata
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/mediterranean_fruit_fly.htm

Fly ID - California, USA :

Saw this little fly on my orange peel in Burbank, California (southern) when I startled him he “flexed” his wings and they turned horizontally and he had a fuzzy bottom. He wasn’t very timid and he was a little smaller than the average fly… Any idea what he could be?

Paxon:

Oh, I have some idea :) It’s a Mediterranean Fruit Fly aka Medfly (Ceratitis capitata). As the name would suggest, it’s originally from the area around the Mediterranean, but has been introduced into the United States (as well as other parts of the world).

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Ceratitis_capitata

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratitis_capitata

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/mediterranean_fruit_fly.htm

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Southern Bee Killer (Mallophora orcina)

…a species bumblebee mimicking robber fly that is native to the eastern United States. Like other robber flies this species is an active predator and will prey on bees, wasps, and other insects which are usually caught mid-flight. After the prey is caught the fly will consume it by sucking its insides out!

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Diptera-Asiloidea-Asilidae-Asilinae-Mallophora-M. orcina

Images: Patrick Lynch and The MrLiZarD

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Spilomyia fusca

…is a species of wasp-mimicking syrphid fly that occurs in North America from Minnesota to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia. As previously mentioned S.fusca is a wasp-mimic and mimics the aggressive Bald-faced Hornet (D.maculata) likely to avoid predation from other predators. S.fusca is mainly active from June through September and is often seen visiting Parsnip (P.satvia), Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) and Virgin’s Bower (C.virginiana) where it will feed on their pollen and nectar.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Diptera-Aschiza-Sryphidae-Eristalinae-Milesiini-Milesiina-Spilomyia-S.fusca

Images: mattbpics and Jim Webber

Could you ID this little guy? 
I found it in my front yard in central Ohio. Thanks!
Paxon:
This is a cranefly (family Tipulidae), and I’m no expert at identifying craneflies, but I’m going to go with Giant Cranefly, Tipula abdominalis. They are harmless to humans, as they feed on flower nectar and other plant fluids.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/24959/bgimage
http://www.godofinsects.com/index.php/museum/flies/giant-crane-fly-tipula-abdominalis/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crane_fly

Could you ID this little guy? 

I found it in my front yard in central Ohio. Thanks!

Paxon:

This is a cranefly (family Tipulidae), and I’m no expert at identifying craneflies, but I’m going to go with Giant Cranefly, Tipula abdominalis. They are harmless to humans, as they feed on flower nectar and other plant fluids.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/24959/bgimage

http://www.godofinsects.com/index.php/museum/flies/giant-crane-fly-tipula-abdominalis/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crane_fly

Insect ID:
hey paxon, any idea what this little guy is? i found it on a rock about 200 metres from the sea on the isle of skye in western scotland, any thoughts?
Paxon:
This is a March fly (family Bibionidae), in the genus Bibio, the flies in this genus are sometimes referred to as "Red-legged Flies". I’m thinking that this is probably the Heather fly (B. pomonae), which does occur widespread through much of Scotland. The large eyes indicate that this is a male.

Insect ID:

hey paxon, any idea what this little guy is? i found it on a rock about 200 metres from the sea on the isle of skye in western scotland, any thoughts?

Paxon:

This is a March fly (family Bibionidae), in the genus Bibio, the flies in this genus are sometimes referred to as "Red-legged Flies". I’m thinking that this is probably the Heather fly (B. pomonae), which does occur widespread through much of Scotland. The large eyes indicate that this is a male.

A mosquito mom’s commute: “Mosquitoes commute between blood-meal hosts and water… One of the possible strategies of malaria control is to identify local vector species and then attack water bodies that contain their larvae.” This animal, the Southern house mosquito, is more important for Fiariasis (in India) and West Nile virus (in North America) but the principle is the same. The tactics surrounding mosquito-borne disease control must take into account the relative positions of potential bloodmeals (us) and suitable egg-laying habitat (standing water). More from this Open Access paper: http://www.malariajournal.com/content/4/1/23 More about this species: Encyclopedia of LifePhoto: Sean McCann via flickr

A mosquito mom’s commute:

Mosquitoes commute between blood-meal hosts and water… One of the possible strategies of malaria control is to identify local vector species and then attack water bodies that contain their larvae.

This animal, the Southern house mosquito, is more important for Fiariasis (in India) and West Nile virus (in North America) but the principle is the same. The tactics surrounding mosquito-borne disease control must take into account the relative positions of potential bloodmeals (us) and suitable egg-laying habitat (standing water).

More from this Open Access paper: http://www.malariajournal.com/
content/4/1/23

More about this species: Encyclopedia of Life

Photo: Sean McCann via flickr