Heartland Virus — Another Reason to Avoid Ticks

lonestar-tick

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with health officials in Missouri and Tennessee, have identified six new cases of people sick with Heartland virus. Five were in Missouri and one was in Tennessee. Heartland virus was first reported in two northwestern Missouri farmers who were hospitalized in 2009 with what was […]

Students Discover a Tiny New Spider in Borneo

Crassignatha-danaugirangensis

A team of biology students recently discovered a new spider species, built a makeshift taxonomy lab, wrote a joint publication, and sent it off to a major taxonomic journal. The aim of their one-month course was to teach students about the rich tapestry of the tropical lowland rainforest in Malaysian Borneo. Discovering a new spider […]

For Dogs and Cats, Year-Round Heartworm Prevention Is Best

heartworm2-wp

By Richard Levine A recent news release from the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University advises pet owners to give their dogs and cats heartworm pills year-round, even in the cold winter months. Heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) are nematodes that are spread from one pet to another by mosquitoes. The role of the mosquito has […]

Open Access Article on Potato Leafhopper Ecology and Integrated Pest Management

Late-instar potato leafhopper with wing pads and specialized legs used for jumping.

A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management summarizes the knowledge to date on the biology of the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), including its distribution, development, migration, agricultural host plants, and mechanics of injury to host plants, especially alfalfa. Native to North America, the potato leafhopper migrates northward from the Gulf […]

Stink Bug Traps in Gardens may Increase Damage to Tomatoes

Halyomorpha-halys

The invasive brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an important pest of fruits and vegetables. To counter them, some home gardeners use pheromone-baited traps that are designed to attract, trap, and kill them. However, new research from entomologists at the University of Maryland suggests that the traps may actually increase stink bug damage to […]

White-footed Mice not Harmed by Ticks or Lyme Disease

Ixodes_scapularis

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year there are about 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease, which is vectored by blacklegged ticks. These ticks are also commonly known as deer ticks, which may cause people to believe that ticks are infected with Lyme disease after biting deer. However, while it’s true that deer […]

Social Spiders Divide Labor According to Body Size and Condition

Stegodyphus-dumicola

At first glance, colonies of thousands of social spiders all look the same and are busy with the same tasks. Not so, say researchers Carl Keiser and Devin Jones of the University of Pittsburgh, after carefully studying various gatherings of Stegodyphus dumicola social spiders of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. They found that a […]

Red Widow Spider’s Range is Limited by its Diet

Latrodectus-bishopi

According to a study by University of Missouri biologist James Carrel, the diet of the mysterious red widow spider (Latrodectus bishopi Kaston) consists mainly of five species of scarab beetles that are endemic to the Florida scrub habitat, which limits the range of the spiders. “The pine scrub habitat, found on sandy ridges in Central […]

Vengeful Taxonomy: Your Chance to Name a New Species of Cockroach

Xestoblatta-close

By Dominic Evangelista We’ve recently discovered a new species of cockroach in the genus Xestoblatta. It’s dirty, it’s ugly, it’s smelly, and it needs a name. As part of our campaign to fund a project about how tropical landscapes drive evolution, we are offering the opportunity for anyone with enough cash to name this new […]

Nineteen Speedy New Praying Mantis Species Discovered from Central and South America

Liturgusa-fossetti

A scientist has discovered 19 new species of praying mantis from Central and South America that are incredibly fast runners. The new species of bark mantises were discovered in tropical forests and also found among existing museum collections. Dr. Gavin Svenson, curator of invertebrate zoology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, described the new […]