I started this blog to write about my fieldwork in The Gambia studying Musca sorbens, the fly that spreads trachoma, and am now hoping to write about entomology, evidence-based environmentalism and science in general.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
This Halloween, meet the vampire maggot!
Happy Halloween! Say hello to the blood-sucking larva of Auchmeromyia senegalensis.
This little chap lives in Subsaharan Africa, in dirt floors and bedlinen, and crawls out at night to suck sleepers' blood. Unlike fictional vampires he doesn't sparkle, but like certain fictional vampires he's not especially bright and is utterly defeated if sleepers are raised off the group on beds (he evolved to feed on burrowing mammals). Although he seems like a fairly uncharismatic creature, research into other bloodsuckers like leeches has already yielded a natural anticoagulant so who knows what tricks this under-researched vampire may be using to get his dinner?