Euryplatea nanaknihali, world's smallest fly

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DQE
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:33 pm
Location: near Portland, Maine, USA

Euryplatea nanaknihali, world's smallest fly

Post by DQE »

Interesting article at the NY Times:

"Scientists have discovered the world’s smallest known fly: a tiny, parasitic native of Thailand that appears to decapitate its host ants."

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/scie ... odayspaper

(Click the photo/illustration to enlarge it.)
---------------------

The following article, linked at the page above, is also interesting. Namibian crop circles?!?!

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/scie ... ef=science
-Phil

"Diffraction never sleeps"

Blcak
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Location: Switzerland (originally)

Post by Blcak »

I've read about it, too. They should send a sample to one of you guys so you can make some high magnification stacks of that bug.

canonian
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Post by canonian »

I just mailed the article to a friend who's on holiday in Thailand. Asked to bring or send me one... :D if he finds one .... :D

Rylee Isitt
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Post by Rylee Isitt »

Huh. So can we legitimately call this fly a microorganism? There are recognized microorganisms that are certainly of comparable size. I know that Bursaria truncatella are pretty big, and can be seen with the naked eye...

abpho
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Post by abpho »

DQE finds all the cool articles. That's one awesome tiny fly. I love this place (earth).
I'm in Canada! Isn't that weird?

nucleobyte
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Location: Virginia, USA

Post by nucleobyte »

Very cool, 0.4 mm, about the size of the smaller springtails. I hope someone here can get some for imaging. The picture in the publication isn't too great.

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

nucleobyte wrote:Very cool, 0.4 mm, about the size of the smaller springtails. .
That's the same as Megalothorax minimus, a species common in UK soil, caves, etc. Sphaeridia pumilis, also common in soils, is 0.25mm.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

DQE
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Location: near Portland, Maine, USA

Post by DQE »

I did some Googling and found more info re the fly, including a FREE journal article in PDF form, from the July 2012 issue of "Annals of the Entomological Society of America":

http://docserver.ingentaconnect.com/del ... 959743F38D

If this link fails, start at the link below and drill down to the article PDF:

http://esa.publisher.ingentaconnect.com ... 4/art00005

A fairly good, basic news article is here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/0 ... 43539.html

An excerpt:

"While it's not the smallest insect (that title belongs a species of fairy wasp, coming in at 0.14 millimeters in length, about the size of a human egg cell), it is the world's smallest fly."
-Phil

"Diffraction never sleeps"

Harold Gough
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Post by Harold Gough »

Thanks, Phil.

The first link worked without problem.

That is the first taxonomic paper I have read for many years. The memories come flooding back.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

DQE
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:33 pm
Location: near Portland, Maine, USA

Post by DQE »

With such a small creature, how on earth would one photograph it in the field? I don't see how a person could see one except by accident while photographing something else.

I think I recall correctly that others have photographed very small phorid flies while photographing another bug...

Perhaps one would have to somehow capture a "herd" of such tiny flies and then devise a way to both keep them safely in captivity and to photograph them.

Alternatively, one could try to obtain specimens and engage in studio photography. But how could one prepare specimens for studio work when the bug is so small?!?!
-Phil

"Diffraction never sleeps"

Harold Gough
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Post by Harold Gough »

Phil,

I see no reason why a specimen could not be glued to a card, or card point, in the conventional way. Once set (dry) it could be removed by dissolving the glue and (it would be very fragile) mounted for photography. Small insects can be carried around over tiny distances by using the surface tension of a droplet of water e.g. on a very fine needle to hold them.

The most difficult thing would be to not breathe out at the wrong moment! #-o

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

Blcak
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 6:19 am
Location: Switzerland (originally)

Post by Blcak »

DQE wrote:With such a small creature, how on earth would one photograph it in the field? I don't see how a person could see one except by accident while photographing something else.
While they're asleep, I guess. Springtails aren't easy to photograph, either, but there are photos of them.

Alternatively, one could try to obtain specimens and engage in studio photography. But how could one prepare specimens for studio work when the bug is so small?!?!
That doesn't sound impossible. There's gear for that (micromanipulators and such).

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