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Old 04-16-2002, 02:10 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Love bugs: Created by Scientists??

This has to be crap. Last night, my brother made some claim that love bugs were actually created by scientists in a lab - possibly at the University of Florida. The purpose was to combat the mosquito problem or something. He wanted to argue that this was a fact.
Any ounce of truth to this? What could he have overheard to lead him on like that?
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2002, 02:37 PM
Scupper Scupper is offline
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Jim Douglas discovered the Love Bug, but it was Tenessee Steinmetz who really believed there was something special about it.
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Old 04-16-2002, 02:37 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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You may rest assured that if mankind were to actually create a species, it would be front page news and you wouldn't have to be asking.

Tell your brother that there is no such word as "gullible," and it's not listed in the dictionary.
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Old 04-16-2002, 04:14 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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From this page:
Quote:
Lovebugs (Plecia nearctica). Love bugs, also called marsh flies, belong to the Family (Bibionidae). This species was first described by D. E. Hardy in 1940 in Louisiana, where many larvae developed in grass clippings along highway subgrades. Although Hardy's description of the species did not list any localities east of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, he indicated that the species was widely distributed and extended into Mexico and Central Mexico (Hetrick 1970).
They're just a successful nuisance, not a lab experiment gone wrong.
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Old 04-16-2002, 04:23 PM
DrMatrix DrMatrix is offline
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The Love Bug was created in the by researchers 1960s. It was not a new species, but rather a mechanism. The Love Bug (code named “Herbie”) was fitted with a metal grill designed to catch and dispatch mosquitoes. When it was released in 1968, it took the country by storm, but it was quickly discovered that, due to a design flaw, the grill did not catch mosquitoes, but caught harmless little black bugs. Your brother is probably confusing these little bugs with Herbie, The Love Bug.
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Old 04-16-2002, 06:50 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary T
You may rest assured that if mankind were to actually create a species, it would be front page news and you wouldn't have to be asking.
What about the mule?

Anyway, my brother came home from work today still claiming this was a fact. Worse yet, he talked to his boss, his girlfriend, and even called our parents. They all heard this "fact" before and they have all accepted it as true. They acted like it was common knowledge or something...

Is it possible that the love bug is not native to Florida and researches inserted them into the Florida ecosystem to help manage the mosquito problem. Maybe this is what happened and the story got twisted and all these people have been repeating the wrong information.

Anyone know why so many people around me think this is a fact - that scientists 'invented' the luve bug???
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Old 04-16-2002, 07:04 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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To add to what tranquillis correctly said, you can visit http://www.floridaenvironment.com/programs/fe00508.htm
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2002, 07:06 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bear_Nenno
What about the mule?
Mules don't necessarily fit the biological definition of species, since they can't reproduce themselves. That aside, information about mules is widespread, and you don't have to ask--you knew.
Quote:
Anyone know why so many people around me think this is a fact - that scientists 'invented' the luve bug???
I'm afraid I don't have a clue about this. I'd never even heard of a lovebug before reading your post.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2002, 09:09 AM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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The best info I have is that Marsh Flies are not native to the US at all, but have successfully expanded their range from Central & South America into the wetter southern US states. They add a few tens of miles to their range each year. They were first described, in scientific terms, in 1940, but were already known to exist throughout Mexico / Central and South America at that time. I'd say that that pretty much puts 'paid' to the "Frankenstein's Bug" question.

Lovebugs have no impact on mosquitos at all, being vegitarians. The larva eat decaying plant matter. The adults breed and die, often messily.
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