Mar 292011

Ryan FleacrestMany artists write their music about the insects which are commonly encountered; ladybeetles, butterflies, the occasional ant or dragonfly. Very few go that extra step and talk about relatively obscure insects of modest economic importance. When it’s not a beetle but rather a fly, well, that’s like icing on the cake.

Today I bring you a song by the British band Wire. Now, this is where it gets a little ironic, as the fly featured in the song Outdoor Miner is the serpentine leaf miner (Liriomyza brassicae), which although one of the most cosmopolitan Agromyzidae (Leafminer Flies), isn’t found in Britain (as of 2007, 29 years after the song was released). The serpentine leaf miner doesn’t generally result in large crop losses, but can create cosmetic damage which makes roadside sale more difficult. Wire has managed to record the life history of the fly through their lyrics, describing the leaf mining patterns indicative of the fly as well as the pupation behaviour (dropping from the leaf to pupate in the soil, and being born again figuratively speaking). Seems like an awful lot of biology for one song eh?



Maybe I’m over-interpreting the lyrics a little, but even the lowly silverfish gets the nod! Wire must have had an entomologist on the payroll; excellent! Fleacrest, out!

This song is available on iTunes – Outdoor Miner – Chairs Missing (Remastered)

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