Scientists found the larvae of killer “knives” instead of the mouth

Scientists found the larvae of killer “knives” instead of the mouth

They will help farmers.


Australian fly Blepharotes splendidissimus known that attacks on butterflies and dragonflies and kills them with poisonous bite. In the new study, researchers found that even larvae of these flies are predators.


・ブレファローテス [Blepharotes splendidissimus ]


— 笠原さん (@Mushrooms815) 19 Nov 2017

Fly Blepharotes splendidissimus was first described in 1830. It belongs to the family of predatory Diptera under the name of ctyri (Asilidae). She has a shiny black body and dark brown wings. The length of the insect reaching up to 2.5 cm, and the wingspan is 4 cm.

Assassin fly larvae have a blade-shaped mandible hooks that allow them to inject venomous saliva into their prey.

— News from Science (@NewsfromScience) 7 Dec 2018

According to the researchers, the mouth of the larvae Blepharotes splendidissimus “resembles a Swiss army knife.” They have sharp lower jaw hooklike form, with which they dig into the body of other insects. Pictures of tiny larvae have been obtained by electron microscopy. They are published in Austral Entomology.

Biting the victim, the larva injects it with poisonous saliva through a tube in the jaws and then the same “tool” sucks out the insides of the insect.

The study’s authors argue that flies are killer and their larvae can be very useful to farmers in combating the pests.

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