Pupation typically lasts approximately 28 days, at the end of which adult flies emerge. Figure 5. View the 2012 TED Talk featuring Dr. John Hafernik here - Flight of the Living Dead: Dr. John Hafernik at TEDx Jackson Hole. The first abdominal segment has a brown hue and pale posterior margin, the second segment has mid-lateral brown patches, the third and fourth segments have larger dark patches, the fifth segment is entirely brown, and the sixth segment has brown markings at the anterior angles. 1993. Like all flies,the zombie fly is holometabolous and undergoes complete metamorphosis during its life cycle. Are Zombie Bees Infiltrating Your Neighborhood? Research is ongoing to determine whether effective management strategies exist for Apocephalus borealis. In 2012, Dr. John Hafernik and his colleges at San Francisco State University discovered that Apocephalus borealis also parasitizes honey bees (Figure 9). Photograph by Bob Hammon, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. "We assume it's while the bees are out foraging because we don't see the flies hanging around the bee hives," Hafernik said.

Adult yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii. Photograph by Christopher Quock from Core et al. Reasons for abandoning the hive remain unclear. World map illustrating the locations where Apocephalus borealis has been recorded. [1] Infected bees can be found walking in circles, as well as losing the ability to stand. However, this parasitoid could cause an economic loss in the regional honey bee industry. Previous research has found evidence that mites, a virus, a fungus, or a combination of these factors might be responsible for the widespread colony collapse.

And with the discovery that this parasitic fly has been quietly killing bees in at least three areas, it might join the list of possible forces behind colony collapse disorder. It is also possible that infected bees altruistically remove themselves from the hive in efforts to stop the spread of disease to the bee colony.[1][10]. A fly (Apocephalus borealis) had inserted its eggs into the bees, using their bodies as a home for its developing larvae. Mature fly larvae typically emerge from the host between the head and thorax (but rarely result in decapitation), and the larvae pupate outside the host body. About a week later larvae emerged from the dead bees. Apocephalus borealis is a parasitoid and spends a significant portion of its life cycle within its host (the female fly injects her egg(s) into the host and most of the larval stages occur within the host).

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