Meet Dr Cathy Smallridge, our resident fly biologist…..
What is a fly biologist?
Someone who studies the biology of flies, including their behaviour, lifecycle, and ecology.
How long have you studied flies and what do you find most interesting about the field?
I have been studying flies since 2001, just after I completed my PhD. I have worked with a number of different species of flies, mostly fruit flies and blowflies. We often think of flies as disgusting, spreading disease and becoming a real pest. But they are quite amazing little critters when you study them closely and incredibly successful in their own way.
Can you give us three fun facts about flies?
- Flies have hidden rainbows in their wings – while fly wings look clear to the everyday observer, when you put them against a black background, they reveal unique and colourful patterns. (See link below)
- In many species, the females use sensitive touch, smell and taste receptors on their egg-laying apparatus to assess whether the site where they want to lay eggs is suitable for the larvae when they hatch.Some fly species hatch their eggs internally and release mobile larvae.
- Flies had a special meaning in ancient Egyptian culture.Military officers presented fly necklaces to valiant soldiers to acknowledge their tenacity in battle.
Why is EnviroSafe’s fly-trap the most effective way to catch flies?
The EnviroSafe bait is an extremely attractive formulation of food-grade ingredients that house flies and blow flies are strongly drawn to.The trap itself is cleverly designed to prevent the flies, once they have entered, from finding their way out.Excess flies are drawn away from people’s living areas without the use of toxic pesticides.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I joined the EnviroSafe team in June 2019. I am currently studying how these traps may help our rural industries and rural communities combat fly problems. I really enjoy discovering new applications for the trap and working with people to improve it’s usefulness in different environments.