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By Stephen Luntz

Brief bites of science news for subscribers only.

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Fly Is Bootylicious
Many biologists hope for immortality by naming a species after themselves, but Bryan Lessard of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences has packed his fame into a smaller space of time, winning notoriety by naming a fly after pop singer Beyoncé Knowles.

Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae is a horse fly that reminded Lessard of the singer’s hit, Bootylicious. “It was the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen that led me to name this fly in honour of the performer Beyoncé as well as giving me the chance to demonstrate the fun side of taxonomy – the naming of species,” Lessard said.

The fly was first collected in 1981, the year Beyoncé was born, but the shortage of taxonomists meant that Scaptia species have sat undescribed for decades. More than 4000 species of horse fly have been collected worldwide, and Lessard said: “Although often considered a pest, many species of horse fly are extremely important pollinators of many plants.” All three known specimens are female.

Warm-Ups Too Long
Professional sporting clubs are using unnecessarily long warm-ups for their players before games, sapping their stamina during the match itself.

The Journal of Science and Sport Medicine has published a comparison of 6-minute and 23-minute pre-game routines, and found that players were faster, more agile and...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.