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Midas Fly Podcast: Extras
See biologist Brigitte Howarth’s images of the mydas fly, including its distinctive tractor-tread tracks.
E. arabicus has a “cousin” in the United States, the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly, native to the ancient Delhi Sands formation of southwestern California. The only fly on the U.S. Endagered Species list, it was listed in 1993 after 97% of its habitat had been lost to development, mining for sand, and damage from off-road vehicles. It remains to be seen whether a Fish and Wildlife recovery plan, adopted in 1997, can save the twelve surviving populations.
The Arabian longhorn beetle depends on the ghaf tree for its reproduction, laying its eggs deep underground in the living roots of the tree. The beetle spends most of its life—years, in fact—as a larva underground, only emerging as an adult to mate and begin the cycle again.
Desert people rely on the ghaf tree, too, for firewood as well as forage and fodder for their livestock.
Do you want to try your hand at tracking insects?
Northern Naturalists Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney have put together a field guide and web site of the tracks and signs, from cocoons and webs to burrows and frass, of some 2000 insects and other invertebrates.