2016 & 2017 Antarctic Research Team

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Front Row: Natalie Ylizarde, Drew Spacht                           Back Row: Dr. Dave Denlinger, J.D. Gantz, Dr. Richard Lee                                    

We study one insect and its name is Belgica antarctica. Not surprisingly, we are know as “The Buggers” here at Palmer Station, Antarctica. In fact, this wingless fly is the southernmost, free living insect in Antarctica and it’s the largest animal that remains on land throughout the year.

Life Cycle of Belgica antarctica

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Larval Stage

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Adult Stage

Photos by: Dr. Richard Lee

In its two-year life cycle, Belgica antarctica under goes complete metamorphosis. It spends most of its time in its larval stage. Adults of Belgica antarctica live for only 10 days during the Antarctic summer. Being the largest land animal on the continent, they only measure  3-4 mm in length!

Check out these photos of the Bugger Team in action below!

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