Posts Tagged ‘Fruit Flies’

Multiple New Species Of Fruit Flies With Overlapping Niches Discovered

May 20, 2008

Evidence of physically similar species hidden within plant tissues suggest that diversity of neotropical herbivorous insects may not simply be a function of plant architecture, but may also reflect the great age and area of the neotropics.

In an article published in Science, Cornell College biology professor Marty Condon and coauthors turn current thought on plant-feeding insect diversity on its head. The study used an examination of fruit fly diversity in Latin America to conclude that typical niche diversity tracking can lead to undercounting of species. DNA analysis resulted in the discovery of multiple new species of fruit flies with overlapping niches.

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A typographic tribute to animals lost in space research

April 15, 2008

Orbit Oblique is a typographic tribute to ‘animals lost in space’. “During the period 1949-1990 the space race between the USA and Russia saw dozens of animals being launched into space in the name of scientific research. These unwilling participants included not just monkeys and dogs but also cats, rats, frogs, worms, spiders, fish and even fruit flies. Many were never seen again.”

The exhibition features a series of backlit typographic billboards, the first public release of the typeface Bisque (whose exclusive usage rights were auctioned on ebay) and the publication that accompanies the exhibition sounds terrific: a limited edition hard-bound type sampler with letterpress printed covers.

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One of Orbit Oblique's billboards

Fly Is At Home On A Crab, With New Evolutionary Neighbors

April 14, 2008

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany, have rediscovered Drosophila endobranchia, a fly living in the mouth of land crabs. The members of Drosophilidae, a family consisting of about 3000 species, are often referred to as fruit flies although most of the members feed on microbes. As microbes can be found growing on a wide range of substrates, fruit flies can accordingly also be found in a multitude of habitats.

One of the more bizarre choices of breeding substrates comes from Drosophila endobranchia. This species is one out of three known fruit flies that have found a home on (and inside) land-crabs. Although frequently mentioned in biology textbooks, the crab flies have somewhat surprisingly been neglected in active research since their description. D. endobranchia has actually not even been seen since its initial discovery in 1966.

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