Bug Blog

The Wings Belonging To Male Fruit Flies Are Hiding A Seductive Design

Although the human eye cannot perceive its beauty, the wings of a male fruit fly are hiding a beautiful design of swirling bright colors. And it seems that these colorful wing designs serve a purpose, and that purpose is to attract females.

This hidden array of colors located on the wings of fruit flies has only been recently discovered by researchers at Lund University. The wings of the fruit fly are very thin and transparent. When the transparent wings are held against a black backdrop the various color patterns become visible. The colored wings have only been observed as belonging to small insects, such as flies and wasps, which have wings that measure at only a few nanometers.

Researchers at Lund University have also recently determined that the color scheme visible on the wings of fruit flies has a marked effect on female sexual selection. Researchers are now interested in how fruit flies behave around various shades of light since the colors only become visible under certain lighting conditions.

Why would the various wing-colors appear only on small insects with very thin wings, and not larger insects with thicker wings?