Fruitfly has evolved images of ants on its wings

Fruitfly evolved pictures of ants on its wings

A recently discovered G tridens fruitfly that has evolved a wing to have images of detailed, ant-like insects on each wing, complete with six legs, a thorax, antennae and a tapered abdomen. The fly uses the images defensively, waving them back and forth when threatened to create the illusion of massing ants. Many G Tridens varieties bear elaborate wing markings, but this one, discovered in Oman , is very striking. I think more beasties should have van-art bestowed on them by the strange world of evolution.

Dr Howarth first saw G tridens on an oleander shrub in northern Oman. “I was looking at the stem of the leaves and I noticed that there were some insects crawling around. When I sort of honed in I started to notice what I thought was a couple of ants moving around.”

At first she suspected an infestation on the fly’s wings. “But it was so symmetrical that I thought, ‘oh this is not possible’. When I got it under the microscope I realised that these were insects painted onto the wings.”

In contrast to its wings and brilliant green eyes, the fly’s body is a dull greenish grey – “almost cryptically coloured,” says Dr Howarth – that blends into the leaves where it is found.

When threatened, the fly flashes its wings to give the appearance of ants walking back and forth. The predator gets confused and the fly zips off.

Fruit fly with the wings of beauty


Key Terms…
  • evolved ↔ evoluiu
  • wings ↔ asas
  • ant-like ↔ parecido de formiga
  • complete with ↔ completo com
  • tapered abdomen ↔ abdômen cônico
  • waving ↔ balançando
  • back and forth ↔ frente e para trás
  • threatened ↔ ameaçado
  • massing ↔ amontando, reunindo
  • bear ↔ possuem
  • striking ↔ impressionante
  • oleander shrub ↔ arbusto oleander
  • Oman ↔ Oman
  • stem ↔ talo
  • leaves ↔ folhas
  • crawling around ↔ andando/rastejando por aí
  • honed in ↔ olhar/focar-se em
  • a couple of ↔ alguns
  • In contrast to ↔ Em contraste com
  • dull greenish grey ↔ cinza esverdeado desluzido/baço
  • almost cryptically coloured ↔ quase enigmaticamente colorida
  • flashes its wings ↔ mostra suas asas
  • the fly zips off ↔ a mosca rapidamente voa para fora


tapered abdomen abdômen cônico
tapered – que fica mais fino
bear possuem
O novo Tratado tem ainda fortes semelhanças com a Constituição. ↔The new Treaty still bears a strong resemblance to the Constitution.
Esta descrição não tem nenhuma semelhança com o tratamento mental praticado hoje em dia pela psiquiatria. ↔This description bears no resemblance to mental treatment under psychiatry today.
oleander shrub arbusto oleander
Oman Oman
stem talo
Cortou a planta pelo caule (talo). ↔He cut the plant at the stem (stalk).
honed in olhar/focar-se em
After learning the new, higher cost estimates, they honed in on the project’s budget.  
Her curious eyes had honed in on his obvious hiding place
The vampires honed in on how the two men’s weathered shoes thudded against the restaurant floor with each step they took
Sonic stood a split second after, looking for the source of the scream. When he heard it again, he honed in on it and looked to the left.
dull greenish grey cinza esverdeado desluzido/baço
more on the word “dull”…
The paint has a dull (not shiny; não lustroso) finish.
There’s never a dull moment in our house. [our house is always very busy or exciting]
the dull (not clear, abafado) roar of the crowd
She complained of a dull (not sharp; não agudo) ache/pain in her knee.
He found the movie very dull. ↔Ele achou o filme muito besta. O filme pareceu-lhe muito chato.
Mas é difícil vender factos desinteressantes ao público. ↔It is hard to sell dull facts to the public.
As fêmeas são de plumagem mais apagada e acastanhada que os machos. ↔The females plumage is more dull and brownish than the males.
Logo ouviu golpes surdos, insistentes, e novamente a dor gigantesca. ↔Then he heard dull, insistent blows and once again the gigantic pain.
para uso como base para fios e fibras brilhantes, semi-opacas ou super-opacas. ↔polymers to be used as a base for bright, semi-dull or super-dull fibers and yarns.
Um cabelo brilhante irá reflectir a luz numa banda de brilho – muito mais do que um cabelo baço. ↔Shiny hair will reflect light in a band of shine – more so than dull hair.
A única coisa quebrando o tédio da paisagem era uma coluna medieval encimada por uma cruz, que marcava o caminho dos peregrinos. ↔The only thing breaking the dull landscape was a medieval column with a cross on top, marking the pilgrims’ way.
If I am dull, I am at least industrious. ↔Se não sou inteligente, pelo menos sou trabalhador.
flashes its wings mostra suas asas
A message flashed (appeared quickly and suddenly) on the screen.
An idea flashed through his mind. [he suddenly had an idea]


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