Invasive Parasitic Fly on Galápagos Islands Probably Came from Mainland Ecuador


Philornis downsi is a parasitic muscid fly that is native to mainland South America. Decades ago, it was accidentally introduced to the Galápagos Islands, where it harms Darwin’s finches and other land birds. Females lay eggs inside active bird nests, and then the resulting larvae feed on the nestlings. The first-instar larvae feed inside the […]

New Online Resource Will Help Control the Asian Longhorned Beetle


By Stacy Kish The Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, is a wood-boring insect that is capable of destroying 30% of the urban trees in the United States at an economic loss of $669 billion. Infestations of this invasive beetle have been found in Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois, and they have been […]

Crickets Are Not a Free Lunch, Protein Conversion Rates May Be Overestimated


Some practitioners of entomophagy believe that raising insects for consumption by humans will help solve world hunger problems. Crickets and other insects, they say, are able to convert plant matter into protein more efficiently than animals such as cattle, pigs, or chicken. For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states on […]

A New Key for Parasitoid Wasps in Africa and Madagascar


A new, open-access article, “Afrotropical Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera),” provides resources to enable the identification of parasitoid wasps in Africa and Madagascar. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. The family Cynipoidea is represented by 306 described species and 54 genera in the region, but there are hundreds of further species to be described. […]

Backyard Chickens May Have Mites, Lice and Fleas


By Amy Murillo Backyard chicken flocks are growing in popularity, and hobbyists all over the country are keeping birds for eggs, meat, or just for fun. However, when you introduce a new animal to your home, you’re also offering a tasty buffet for some of the local arthropods that may be laying in wait. Just […]

Researchers Find New Arthropod Species that is 508 Million Years Old


The Burgess Shale Formation in the Canadian Rockies is one of the most famous fossil locations in the world. After examining exceptionally preserved specimens from the formation, researchers from Canada and California have found a new arthropod species that is 508 million year old. The new species, Yawunik kootenayi, is described in the journal Palaeontology. […]

Researchers Find La Crosse Virus in Aedes japonicus Mosquitoes


By Harvey Black Researchers have found another invasive mosquito species that carries the virus responsible for La Crosse encephalitis in the Appalachian region. In the April 2015 edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dr. Camille Harris, a wildlife disease ecologist, and her colleagues report finding Aedes japonicus mosquitoes carrying the virus in southwestern Virginia. This is […]

The Origin of Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets: A New Study Resolves the Evolutionary Tree of the Orthoptera


By John P. Roche The order Orthoptera — which includes the familiar crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers — is a huge and diverse group of winged insects with more than 25,000 species, many of which are scientifically and economically important. Because of its size, understanding the evolutionary relationships in the Orthoptera is important, but up until […]

Five New Bess Beetles Discovered in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru


Beetles in the family Passalidae are one of the few groups of beetles that are subsocial — the adults actually care for their young and nest in decaying logs. Male and female adults pre-chew the wood and feed it to the larvae, which otherwise would not be able to digest it. They can even communicate […]

For Ticks, Researchers Find Lemur Noses to be Males Only in Madagascar


By Josh Lancette Ticks have been found in the noses of chimpanzees in Uganda, presumably because the chimps aren’t able to pluck them off during grooming. They’ve also been found to play the part of stowaway and unwanted guest, hiding out in human noses during transcontinental flights and making their homes in human navels and […]


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