One Fly, Three Flies, An Ant And A Scorpion

3 flies

This fly, Goniurellia tridens, has been discovered in the United Arab Emirates. It’s a small fly, about 3 mm long. On its transparent wings it carries an “anatomically correct” almost perfect — head, chest, abdomen and six legs — pictures of two more flies. It pretends  to be a flock of flies to fend off predators. What a stunningly original example of mimicry!

Some Goniurellia tridens display pictures of ants. The theory is that the ants on the wings serve as a diversion: When Goniurellia tridens sees a predator, it begins to move its wings to confuse the enemy and win precious time to escape, while the predator still cannot figure out what exactly and how many “of them” it sees.muha1
Another theory argues that ants drawn on the wings may be an added attribute to attract a prospective mate, offering a feast. On the other hand, flies do not eat ants, so this version seems somewhat unfounded.

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At the moment, scientists are at a loss and can not give a precise explanation of why Goniurellia tridens needs such complex mimicry and undergone “evolutionary pains”  developing  such   elaborate artwork on their wings.

However, the “portrait” below doesn’t need much theorizing, does it?


This little fly might easily scare its enemy off by displaying a really frightening incest on its wings. The design is quite different here — the lower part of the fly’s body is integrated into the picture, like a masquerade costume of a scorpion.

Talk about mimicry! And then there is a fascinating  Heikegani Crab…

The legend of Heikegani: the Samurai ghost crabs

The Heikegani Crab (Heikeopsis japonica) and a stylize Kabuki samurai face.

The Heikegani Crab (Heikeopsis japonica) and a stylize Kabuki samurai face.


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