Newsweek: “Why some insects have an arsenal of tricks to pretend be dangerous”

recent article on Newsweek,written by , a lecturer in animal biology at University of Leeds, and originally published in The Conversation, highlighted research into hoverflies, or Syrphidae, a family of insects in the order Diptera, and the traits that allow them to mimic bees and wasps. The article focuses on a few specific characteristics and behaviors, pointing to studies that offer insight into adaptive/evolutionary explanations for these traits. The article is careful to point out that these are not examples of “complete” evolution and represent an ongoing “arms race” between hoverflies, which are a pest to humans, and birds, their predators.


I really valued the style and medium for this article. Peer-reviewed, journal-published primary literature is available all over the web, but even so, is rarely accessible to the general public in terms of content and cost. Here, a researcher wrote an article with the intent of communicating to the general public, and as such the style is much more casual while still concise and informative. The article includes links to more specific research, but on its own, gives a brief overview of several findings in a multimedia format and expresses well the significance and context of those findings.

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