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A flower blooms in the stone

Fotolab_Thomas Lewinsohn - Minasia alpestris Estr. Conselheiro Matta, MG DSC_0472In the stony aridity of the Espinhaço Mountains in the state of Minas Gerais, life emerges even amid the rocks. Minasia alpestris is found in only a small area there, where more than 20 years ago, ecologist Thomas Lewinsohn investigated interactions between insects and plants of that family, the asters. It was no coincidence that another species of the Minas genus bears his name, having been christened in his honor. This one was photographed in late May 2016 during fieldwork in the region of Diamantina. Back in the laboratory, doctoral candidate Camila Leal awaits the hatching of flies with wings streaked by inflorescence and kept in sealed flasks, hoping to discover the genetic basis for the connections between those flies and their host plants.

Image submitted by Thomas Lewinsohn, a professor at the Institute of Biology at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) (IB-Unicamp)