EYE
An insect with 100 eyes has left scientists, well, surprised

Parasitic insects known as Strepsiptera are so named for their twisted wings, from the Greek word strepsi, meaning twisted or turned, and ptera, wings. But wings are not their only warped feature, as scientists have found out. Indeed, these creatures, which prey on other insects such as paper wasps, have freaky peepers as well.

EYE
BUG'S-EYE VIEW. Eyelets in Strepsiptera each process a chunk of visual information, as opposed to the single points registered by the facets in compound insect eyes. Individual retinae invert the separate chunks as shown above. In reality, though, there is most likely less overlap between them.

Most bugs sport what are known as compound eyes, made up of hundreds--and sometimes thousands--of lenses that each sample an individual point in the visual field. Strepsiptera, however, have fewer and larger lenses, dubbed eyelets, clustered on either side of their head. Whereas the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster may have some 700 facets per eye, one Strepsiptera called Xenos peckii has only 50 eyelets. And 15 fruit-fly lenses would cover the same area as one of X. peckii's lenses.

EYE

RECONSTRUCTION of part of the Strepsipteran visual system shows several individual eyelet lenses (yellow), retinae (red) and receptor cells and lamina (blue), as well as the tissue between eyelets (green).