The world’s smallest known fly - Thailand native Euryplatea nanaknihali

In the July 2012 issue of the journal Annals of the Entomological Society of America, scientists have detailed the world's tiniest known fly --- the Euryplatea nanaknihali, which is a minuscule, parasitic native of Thailand.

The Euryplatea nanaknihali fly - discovered by Brian V. Brown, curator of entomology at Los Angeles County's Natural History Museum - was collected as part of the Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological Research, a project that involved the participation of over 100 scientists from all over the world.

According to the information shared by the scientists, the Euryplatea nanaknihali fly is barely two-hundredths of an inch in length; and is thus one-fifth the size of a fruit fly and one-fifteenth the size of a house fly. Despite its size, the small fly - which seemingly feeds on small ants - can decapitate its host ants, to use their head casings as its home.

Revealing that Euryplatea nanaknihali is "smaller than a flake of pepper," Brown said in the journal that the fly is "so small you can barely see it with the naked eye on a microscope slide." He further added: "The housefly looks like a Godzilla fly beside it."

In the opinion of Brown, the project which led to the discovery of the Euryplatea nanaknihali is yet another example of the fact that small creatures play an important role in the ecosystem --- while some tiny insects provide important services like pollination and decomposition, the Euryplatea nanaknihali fly contributes its bit in the direction of ant control!

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