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Sub-antarctic fly proboscis tip, SEM

Sub-antarctic fly proboscis tip, SEM

C010/5306

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Credit

THIERRY BERROD, MONA LISA PRODUCTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THIERRY BERROD, MONA LISA PRODUCTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sub-antarctic fly proboscis tip, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). This tip consists of pads to soak up food liquified by digestive enzymes. This fly, Anatalanta aptera, is wingless. It is endemic to the sub-antarctic Crozet Islands, located near Antarctica. The loss of wings is common in insects on such exposed islands, as the strong winds make flying impossible. The energy saved also helps the insects survive in the cold conditions.

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