Of Flies and Ants: New Ant Decapitation Behavior of Dohrniphora Flies

Science Scope, March 2015 | Go to article overview

Of Flies and Ants: New Ant Decapitation Behavior of Dohrniphora Flies


While watching tiny flies in tropical forests in Brazil, Giar-Ann Kung puzzledly remarked to Brian Brown, 'They are cutting the ant heads off!" This unexpected find led to the discovery of a grisly type of behavior described in a new study.

In the world of small insects, there is an astonishing variety of bizarre behaviors, but one of the most extreme is that of the ant-decapitating flies of the family Phoridae. These tiny (1 to 3 mm long) flies inject their eggs into the bodies of ants, where, after hatching, the resulting larvae feed on the insides the host ant's head, eventually causing it to fall off. Such ant-decapitating flies have been known for more than 100 years, but recently, scientists have discovered a second, completely different type of ant decapitation in the Phoridae.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This new discovery involves a group of flies in a genus called Dohrniphora, best known as "scavengers" because of one widespread, human-associated species that is common in cities around the world. Another group of species native to South and Central America, however, do something unusual. Adult female flies are attracted to injured trap-jaw ants, from which they industriously sever the gut, nerve cord, and other connections of the head from the rest of the body. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Of Flies and Ants: New Ant Decapitation Behavior of Dohrniphora Flies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.