The tiny brain of a fly!

Some people may have seen the image of a fruit fly brain published last month (January 2020), by C. Shan Xu, and a large number of coworkers, and picked up by many media outlets. The ‘map’ or 3-D graphic (see below) was compiled by a team of scientists, called FlyEM, from the company Google, and…

Love is a carousel: courting Marsh fritillaries!

Marsh fritillaries, Euphydryas aurinia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), are one of my favourite butterflies. The beautiful tapestry of yellow, orange and black colours on their wings creates a stunningly attractive pattern, especially when contrasted against the bright pink colour of a flower. The beautiful appearance of butterflies is, I think, even more attractive when we discover something…

Look into my ocelli! Simple eyes.

Ocelli (singular: ocellus) are simple eyes and are found on many different kinds of insects (such as bees, wasps, flies and dragonflies) and spiders. In adult insects, like the beautiful Jewel wasp shown below, photographed by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel, there are usually three dorsal ocelli located on the top of the head: two small lateral…