TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- According to research, biting flies are attracted to blue colours since they confuse them with animals they would like to feed on.
An etymological field study conducted at Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom aimed to explain why these flies are particularly attracted to blue, which led to blue traps being made worldwide.
Using artificial neural networks, researchers were able to simulate the visual processing in the brains of biting flies.
There is a higher likelihood that blue-trapped flies have not eaten recently, indicating they have been searching for hosts.
The study, which has also been peer-reviewed and published in Proceedings of Royal Society B, also cast doubt on a previous theory that blue objects represent shade.
A turning point may have been reached in the fight against diseases endemic to sub-Saharan Africa that remain untreated and have a high mortality rate.
Among these diseases are human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, and stable flies, which primarily attack cows and horses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 98 percent of reported cases are caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, which is prevalent in 24 African countries.
Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, the second form, is found in 13 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and accounts for less than 2 percent of cases.