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Published On: Tue, Jul 3rd, 2012

Meet the World’s Smallest Fly which decapitates ants, lives in their heads

Meet the world’s smallest fly, discovered in Thailand.

(Image: A reconstruction of the tiny phorid fly Euryplatea nanaknihali, with body size compared with a house fly (Musca domestica); Credit: Inna-Marie Strazhnik)

The fly is five times smaller than a fruit fly, tinier than a grain of salt and about half the size of the “no see-um.”

Discovery reports that a newly discovered fly species, Euryplatea nanaknihali, is the world’s smallest fly, and has the rather unsavory habit of biting off the heads of ants, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

“It’s so small you can barely see it with the naked eye on a microscope slide. It’s smaller than a flake of pepper,” said Brian Brown, of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who identified the fly as a new species. “The housefly looks like a Godzilla fly beside it.”

The type specimen, a female, was picked up by the Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological Research in Kaeng Krachan National Park. The fly is the first of its kind discovered in Asia. [Microscopic Monsters: Gallery of Amazing Bugs ]

It has smoky gray wings and the female they discovered has an egg-depositing organ that is pointed to make it easy to lay eggs inside another insect, as a parasitic fly would. 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.

“When you get really small like that, the environment changes,” Brown said. “The viscosity of air starts to become a problem and wind currents are major events. It’s amazing how small something can be and still have all of its organs. This is a new frontier, and publishing this tiny fly is basically a challenge to other people to find something smaller,” he said.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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