Flies are given federal protection

May 11, 2006

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended federal protection to 12 species of Hawaiian picture-wing flies under the Endangered Species Act.

Officials this week announced the ESA listing of 11 fly species, with one categorized as endangered.

The 12 Hawaiian picture-wing flies are found only on a single island, and each breeds only on a single or a few related species of plants, some of which are also listed as threatened or endangered species.

"More often than not large mammals such as bears, wolves and manatees receive most of the public's attention, while the importance of insects in our natural world is overlooked," said David Allen, director of the service's Pacific region. "Studies of Hawaiian picture-wing flies have revealed an incredible evolutionary history that allows people to understand the dynamic adaptive changes that Hawaiian species have undergone."

There are approximately 106 species of Hawaiian picture-wing flies, officials said, with each adapted to a particular island and a specific habitat type, including deserts, rainforests and swamplands.

Hawaiian picture-wings flies have been called the "birds of paradise" of the insect world because of the elaborate markings on otherwise clear wings.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Flies of the world embrace vegetarianism

Related Stories

Flies of the world embrace vegetarianism

January 29, 2013

(Phys.org)—Microbe-eating flies from at least three different locations around the world recently have evolved into herbivores, feeding on some of the most toxic plants on Earth. Fly detectives and UA evolutionary biologists ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.