Small Wet World of Soldier Fly Larvae

Soldier Fly Larva

Soldier Fly Larva
Image: Fabrice Parais
Honorable Mention, 2014 Nikon Small World

This image of the abdominal tip of a soldier fly larva by Fabrice Parais, won honorable mention at the 2014 Nikon Small World. It captures the respiratory fringe with an air bubble. The lighting in this image is supurb and avoids reflection from the water surface.

The respiratory fringe surrounds an opening to the tracheal system. It serves as a float when the larva surfaces and exchanges gasses directly with the atmosphere. When submerged, the fringe can capture an air bubble that can enhance the ability to breathe underwater. The fringe is an excellent adaptation for breathing underwater and the image captures the delicate beauty.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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