Horseflies, Horses, and Horvath

Dr Gábor Horváth discovered that white horses attract fewer flies. Horváth, head of the Environmental Optics Laboratory at Eotvos University in Budapest, solves mysteries about light and about living creatures.

He and five colleagues wrote a study called An Unexpected Advantage of Whiteness in Horses: The Most Horsefly-proof Horse Has a Depolarising White Coat, which they published recently in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

They experimented with a small number of sticky horses and a large number of horseflies (of the variety called tabanids). The horses were sticky because the scientists had coated them with “a transparent, odourless and colourless insect monitoring glue [called] Babolna Bio mouse trap“….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.