Tim Caro and his colleagues from the University of California at Davis believe that they have answered the age old question of why zebras have stripes–they believe the stripes ward off bugs. These scientists did extensive geographic testing on different equis species, using phylogeny to compare the major hypothesis for cause behind the stripes. After determining that the stripes were likely insect repellents, they did testing with tsetse flies and tabanid biting flies, discovering that there is indeed correlation between pattern and where the bugs landed. Apparently flies do not like stripes.
Read their article here: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140401/ncomms4535/full/ncomms4535.html