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Venom attracts decapitating flies

Chemistry may help scientists improve control of invasive fire ants

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1:41pm, September 18, 2009

A fire ant’s weapon is also its weakness. The insect’s venom attracts parasitic flies, which bring about a slow ant death that ends in decapitation, scientists report in an upcoming Naturwissenschaften.

By identifying venom alkaloids that attract the flies, researchers may be able to better monitor populations of the pests and their enemies and to design improved fire ant control strategies.

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