The Fly With 100 Eyes

Scientists are puzzled by the peepers of a tiny parasite

For all their brief lives, the females of one species of twisted-wing insects called Xenos peckii live inside common paper wasps, feeding on their hosts' innards. Sightless and flightless, these tiny parasites exist only to be impregnated. The luckier males mature inside the wasps, emerge at adulthood and fly away, using their olfactory sense and their eyes to find and mate with a female inside another wasp.

But, oh, what eyes! Peering through a microscope at a twisted-wing male, Cornell neurobiologists Elke Buschbeck, Birgit Ehmer and Ron Hoy were struck by the unusually large lens facets in X. peckii's eyes. The...

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