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: Fishing ban rescues Robben Island penguin chicks

Related Stories

Flies of the world embrace vegetarianism

Jan 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 ...

Recommended for you

Fishing ban rescues Robben Island penguin chicks

3 hours ago

Survival of endangered African penguin chicks increased by 18% following a trial three-year fishery closure around Robben Island in South Africa, a new study from the University of Exeter has found.

Unlocking lignin for sustainable biofuel

4 hours ago

Turning trees, grass, and other biomass into fuel for automobiles and airplanes is a costly and complex process. Biofuel researchers are working to change that, envisioning a future where cellulosic ethanol, ...

Scientists develop free, online genetic research tool

5 hours ago

Technology rapidly is advancing the study of genetics and the search for causes of major diseases. Analysis of genomic sequences that once took days or months now can be performed in a matter of hours. Yet, ...

User comments : 0

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.