New Wood-eating Cockroach Species Found in China

Panesthia-guizhouensis

Chinese scientists have found a new species of cockroach, and a new subspecies. Unlike the cockroach pests that most of us are familiar with, these live outdoors and eat wood. The new species and subspecies are described in the journal ZooKeys. Nearly 4,600 species of cockroach are found worldwide, but only 30 or so are […]

“Mean Old Bed Bug Blues” Shows How Bed Bugs Were Perceived 90 Years Ago

lonnie-johnson

People sometimes talk about bed bugs as if they were a new problem. However, as Robert L. Usinger wrote in Monograph of Cimicidae, bed bugs have been biting people for as long as history has been recorded. While it’s true that there was a brief period of 50-60 years — beginning in the 1940s — […]

Scientists from China and Italy Name New Beetle after Marco Polo

Hycleus-marcipoli

A team of Chinese and Italian scientists have discovered a new species of beetle which they’ve named after Marco Polo, a Venetian merchant who was one of the first Europeans to visit and write about China back in the 13th century. The beetle’s name — Hycleus marcipoli — is “a tribute to the collaboration established […]

Flowers Trick Kleptoparasitic Flies into Pollinating Them

assassin-bug-fly

According to the authors of an article appearing in the journal New Phytologist, the pollination of about 4-6% of all flowering plants is based on deceit, “whereby plants advertise a reward but ultimately do not provide it.” Most known species of plants in the genus Aristolochia are known to cheat pollinators, and the researchers have […]

Ant Larvae Cannibalize Eggs in their own Colonies

formica-ant

To the casual observer, the colonies of social insects like bees and ants appear to be harmonious societies where individuals work together for the common good, but appearances can be deceiving. A new study published in The American Naturalist by Eva Schultner and colleagues from the Universities of Helsinki, St. Andrews, and Oxford reveals that […]

Baby Bird Mimics and Moves like a Caterpillar

Laniocera-hypopyrra

Nature is full of examples of animals that mimic other animals to fool predators into thinking they’re toxic or dangerous. For example, some moths mimic wasps, and some flies mimic bees. One of the strangest examples of animal mimicry was recently reported in an article published in The American Naturalist. A South American bird called […]

Sealant in Honey Bee Hive Promotes Hair Growth in Mice

honey-comb

A new study appearing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that a substance called propolis, which is used as a sealant in honey bee hives, might contain clues for developing a potential new therapy for hair loss. Propolis is a resin-like material that honey bees use to seal small gaps in their […]

Meet the the CowVac, an Innovative Way to Protect Cattle from Horn Flies

cowvac

By Joel Grossman (A longer version of this article was published earlier at the Biocontrol Beat blog.) Rest assured, a CowVac is not a veterinary vaccine of some sort that magically provides insect control or renders cows autistic. Instead, it’s a suction device incorporated into a larger trapping apparatus that removes blood-sucking flies from livestock. […]

Three Non-native Insects Intercepted by CBP Agents in Philadelphia Port

Stenygra-setigera

Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Philadelphia intercepted two insect species that were never before recorded in the U.S., plus a third one that has never been recorded in the Philadelphia area. The identifications of all three were recently confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The CBP agriculture specialists […]

Parasitoid Wasps May Be an Effective Tool against Lettuce Aphids

Nasonovia_ribisnigri

The lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribisnigri) is an important pest of lettuce worldwide. Lettuce growers have traditionally used chemicals to control the aphids, but even that can be difficult since the aphids prefer to feed on the lettuce heart leaves. However, there may now be an alternative, according to an article that appears in the journal […]

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