Welcome! If you are looking for a chance to contribute to scientific research, you have
come to the right place. I study biological diversity. For over 25 years I have worked in
tropical rain forests and studied the interdependence of plants and animals. In
particular, I pay attention to "Rainforest Cucumbers," which are beautiful vines
with bright orange, red, and yellow flowers. In the process, I
noticed that the flowers and seeds sometimes had little "worms" in them. The
"worms" turned into beautiful flies with spotted wings. I wanted to know their
scientific name, but was surprised to find out that they didnt have a name.
Here you will find pictures of wings of FOUR new species of flies from Costa Rica. All
of them eat flowers of one kind of Rainforest Cucumber (called Gurania costaricensis).
Because these flies do not yet have scientific names, I call them "Clubs,"
"Spades," "Hearts," and "Diamonds." (Their first name will
be Blepharoneura, but we will have to invent their second name! Hearts and Diamonds
(the red suits) are flies that eat female flowers. Hearts and Diamonds hardly ever live in
the same place. Clubs and Spades eat male flowers and hardly ever live in the same place.
Clubs live in the same place as Hearts (near the top of a small mountain), and Spades and
Diamonds live in the same place (near the bottom of the same small mountain). Why? I want
to know!!! But to find out, I have to be able to look at a fly and tell whether it is a
Heart or a Club or a Diamond or a Spade. Some of you read an article in The Dolphin Log
and found differences among the four flies. (Fly A is a Club. Fly B is a Spade. Fly C is a
Diamond, and Fly D is a Heart.) Now we have to figure out whether we can use the
differences you found to tell whether a fly is a Heart or a Diamond (or a Club or a
Spade)! Let me know what you find! I hope you will also share
your discoveries with others so we can work together to solve this puzzle!
This study has appeared in Dolphin Log, which can be visited at dolphinlog.org