Bioartist is breeding flies adapted for life on Titan

Since 2011, Andy Gracie has been selectively breeding flies to thrive under the harsh environmental conditions on Titan, Saturn's largest moon: dark, cold (-179.2C), and with very low atmospheric pressure. Read the rest

Elaborate electronic fly trap

It took me a few moments to realize that the flies were being shuffled into a can rather than mechanically chopped to pieces by the rotating fins. So you end up with a can writhing with live flies! And yet there is still no screen version of Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory. [via]

It (or something very similar) is available on Amazon for $15. Here's the provided guide to "attract flies."

Fish is the best. Read the rest

Yikes: A massive swarm of mayflies cover Louisiana gas station

Kenny Hickman stopped to get a tank of gas from a station on Military Road in Slidell, Louisiana and discovered it was covered in A SWARM OF MAYFLIES! So, instead of pumping gas, he shot this video which his wife Sandy Callegan Hickman posted on Facebook. It will undoubtedly make your skin crawl.

FYI: This site tells you ways to "survive" a mayfly swarm.

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Spider preparing a fly for dinner

We found this little fellow in the garage preparing dinner. Despite a sultry summer, we've been free of flies and I figure it's all thanks to Team Cellar Spider.

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This fly drowned in my candle

I'll have to ask the waiter for another. Read the rest

Bug-A-Salt 2.0, take arms against flying insects

The Bug-A-Salt 2.0 fires common table salt at house flies. It is much more fun, and effective, than a flyswatter. Read the rest

Disgustingly beautiful housefly art

Behold, the common housefly — Musca domestica. You know it as a connoisseur of both sugar water and disgusting crap (literally), but this animal is also, deep inside, a sensitive arteest. Human artist John Knuth figured out how to help M. domestica express its passionate, aesthetic side in a series of paintings that exploit basic housefly behavior.

Houseflies "taste" with their feet. Their appendages are covered with chemically sensitive hairs, called chemoreceptors, which means that houseflies spend a lot of time walking around on top of their food. In addition, they can only eat liquids. If they encounter something delicious-but-solid they must first liquify it by slathering it in digestive juices. Finally, because they have to not-exactly-vomit on solid food so often, houseflies also need a lot of liquid in their diet to remain sufficiently hydrated. And that, as this pregnant lady can tell you, means the flies are also using the bathroom fairly frequently.

Knuth puts these rather disgusting traits to work in the name of art by supplying his flies with ample quantities of colored sugar water and lining their cages with canvas. The flies track the colors all over the canvas, in the form of brightly hued footprints, digestive juices, and excrement. The results are much more attractive than you might guess.

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