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Why would someone study rectal glands of a fly?

Posted: July 17, 2014

Anjel's project is taking her in unanticipated directions
Brightfield image of Eurosta solidaginis showing the hindgut and male terminalia (photo by István Mikó).

Brightfield image of Eurosta solidaginis showing the hindgut and male terminalia (photo by István Mikó).

As part of my dissertation research, I am studying pheromone production by male goldenrod gall flies (Eurosta solidaginis). More specifically, I am interested in examining potential correlations between male quality (especially related to male attractiveness to female flies) and male pheromone production.  As part of this project, I was recently able to collaborate with scientists at the Frost Museum. Dr. István Mikó helped me dissect male flies and locate the rectal gland, which is the putative pheromone-production and storage organ. Together with István, I have written about our findings and my experience at the Frost Museum. You can read more about it here.