Bear Wasps of the Middle Kingdom: A Decade of Discovering China’s Bumble Bees


By Paul H. Williams, Jiaxing Huang, and Jiandong An Bumble bees are well known for being among the most important pollinators in the world’s north-temperate regions. Perhaps more surprisingly, half of the world’s bumble bee species are concentrated in just one country, China. With an area only slightly smaller than the U.S., China has almost […]

New Bee Species Bores into Sandstone


When Michael Orr, a graduate student at Utah State University, observed what appeared to be bee nests in sandstone at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park in Utah, he decided to investigate by examining bee specimens at the USDA’s National Pollinating Insects Collection. Rummaging through drawer after drawer, he finally found what he’d been seeking: specimens […]

Free Online Resource for Soybean Growers to Manage Kudzu Bugs


By Josh Lancette There’s a relatively new pest of soybean in town. Its name? Megacopta cribraria, but most folks call it the kudzu bug. If left unchecked, the bug has been shown to cause up to 60% yield loss in soybean fields. In order to help manage this pest, researches at North Carolina State University […]

How Does Research Environment Shape Science and Life Outside of Science?


Editor’s note: This is the second in a series by Laurel Haavik that peeks into the lives of scientists. Click here for Part 1. By Laurel Haavik All scientists try — or should try — their best to adhere to the scientific method. They pose a curious and contemporarily relevant question about how something works, […]

Emerald Ash Borer May Become a Problem for Olive Growers


In October 2014, researchers at Wright State University discovered that an invasive insect called the emerald ash borer (EAB) was attacking white fringetrees (Chionanthus virginicus) in addition to ash trees. This was big news at the time. The EAB had already killed tens of millions of ash trees, and the fact that it could harm […]

New Tiger Moth Genus and Species Discovered in Africa


By Josh Lancette A new genus and species of tiger moth from Africa has been discovered by researchers from Poland and Germany. The new species, Tervurenia eloumdeni, was first found in a collection in the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium by Dr. Łukasz Przybyłowicz, who was preparing a catalogue of world Thyretina, […]

New Species of Black Fly Discovered in Thailand


In April, we reported on a new species of black fly that was discovered in Borneo. Now the lead author, Hiroyuki Takaoka, is back at it again, discovering another new black fly species, but this time from Thailand. The new species, Simulium (Gomphostilbia) maleewongae, was discovered by Takaoka, from the University of Malaya in Malaysia; […]

Anthranilic Diamides Can Potentially Replace Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Vegetable Crops


By Rebecca A. Schmidt-Jeffris and Brian A. Nault When used as foliar sprays, neonicotinoids have caused some concern among the general public because — like any pesticide — they can harm bees and other beneficial insects. However, using neonicotinoids as seed treatments minimizes these risks, and has become a commonly used tool for proactively protecting […]

Jumping Spiders Can Hear Sound Despite Having No Ears


Spiders have no ears or eardrums, and conventional wisdom has held that they are only able to sense airborne vibrations from a few centimeters away. Now, researchers have found that jumping spiders — and most likely other spiders as well — can actually hear sounds over much greater distances. “The sensory world of the tiny […]

New Soldier Beetle Species Found in 99-million-year-old Amber


A new soldier beetle belonging to the family Cantharidae, the subfamily Malthininae and the tribe Malthodini has been discovered from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber, which is about 99 million years old. A description of the extinct soldier beetle was recently published in the journal Cretaceous Research. Burmese amber, the important fossiliferous resin collected from Kachin […]