Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Atomic Flies

There is something strange going on down in Panama ...

Take a good look at the sign in the picture. Click to bigafy if you need to. What is the USDA up to? And what good can come from making Atomic Flies?

Would you turn into 'Flyman' if you got bitten by one? And would Flyman and Spiderman be enemies?

We saw this sign pretty much everyday we were down there. But only in the Darien Provence. It was crazy how open they were about this. I mean, would you want the world to know you were breeding atomic flies? I think not!

But we didn't see any giant flies with glowing red eyes. Thank god. I mean, the little non-atomic flies are bad enough.

On the other hand, we saw several species of giant spiders, like this one, big as your hand:

Sericopelma rubronitens, the Panama Red Rump Tarantula (black rump morph apparently).

I guess something must be eating those giant flies.


The red-eyed fly is the New World Screwworm. A particularly nasty little bugger. It has been mostly eradicated in the United States since 1966. Mexico and the Central American countries of  Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua have been fly free since 1991. And the firewall is in Panama.

Today the USDA and partners maintain a permanent sterile fly barrier at the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia to prevent the return of this pest.

And how do they create this sterile fly barrier? By irradiating the male flies, that's how.

Thus the atomic fly logo.

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