World's Tiniest Fly Beheads Tiny Ants

Found in Thailand, E. nanaknihali smaller than a grain of salt

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2012 4:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's the tiniest fly species known in the world, smaller than a grain of salt, and apparently it likes to eat ant heads, reports LiveScience. Euryplatea nanaknihali, a newly discovered species from Thailand, is from a fly genus known for decapitating ants and is believed to attack some of the smallest ant species in the same way. "The housefly looks like a Godzilla fly beside it," says Brian Brown, the researcher who identified the critter. "Here’s something barely visible to the naked eye and it has wings, eyes, and complete organ systems."

"This is a new frontier, and publishing this tiny fly is basically a challenge to other people to find something smaller," Brown says, calling the study an example of how tiny creatures play important roles in the ecosystem. "People are so obsessed with dinosaurs and elephants, they forget that the small things are out there," he says. Researchers believe that the tiny flies, like their larger cousins, probably lay their eggs in the body of the ant, where the larva devour its brain and spend a couple of weeks living in its head after it falls off. For more loveliness, see the original article at the Entomological Society of America website.

The little fly is hard to spot.   (Shutterstock)
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