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February 21, 2019: Study Indicates Fewer Flies Land on Horses Wearing Striped Coats

The function of zebra stripes has been a “source of scientific interest for over 150 years” and there is now there is an “emerging consensus among biologists that the primary function of contrasting black and white stripes on the three species of zebras is to thwart attack from tabanids” (aka horse flies). A new study examines the behaviour of tabanids around horses wearing differently coloured cloth coats and reports on the duration of time that tabanids spend on equids with different coloured pelage, and concludes that “that, up close, striped surfaces prevented flies from making a controlled landing but did not influence tabanid behaviour at a distance.” Read study

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