Blind Cave Beetles Lack Eyes but Still Have Sight Genes


University of Adelaide researchers have made a surprising discovery which seems to challenge the traditional Darwinian view of evolution. A team led by Dr. Simon Tierney discovered that a species of blind water beetle expresses opsin genes which are usually only found in species with eyes, even though this species has lived underground for millions […]

New Parasitoid Wasp Species Discovered in South Korea


A team of South Korean researchers has discovered a new species of parasitoid wasp in their country. The new wasp, which belongs to the genus Seticornuta, a group belonging to the subfamily Metopiinae, was named Seticornuta koreana after the country where it was found. It is described in the journal ZooKeys. Parasitoid wasps reproduce by […]

Researchers Discover Natural Insect Growth Regulators in Plants

Aedes aegypti

Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, are chemicals that are used in some insecticides to control certain insects. Unlike many other insecticides, they are not nerve agents and they generally do not harm adult insects. Instead, they hinder the ability of immature insects to develop into healthy adults. Depending on the insect, eggs may not hatch, […]

Caterpillar in Borneo Uses Tree Resin to Construct Cocoon


A research team led by Professor William Symondson from Cardiff University has discovered a new caterpillar in Borneo that makes its cocoon out of flakes of dried resin — a sticky substance exuded from trees that hardens over time. The cocoon appears to be unique because no other butterfly or moth is known to make […]

Some Facts About Florida’s Genetically Modified Mosquitoes


By Richard Levine Over the weekend, a deluge of news articles about the possible release of genetically-modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys swept the Internet. The modified mosquitoes, if approved, would be used to control mosquito populations without pesticides, and would lower the chances of Floridians being exposed to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya. […]

New Checklist of Guiana Shield Highlights Cockroach Diversity in the Americas


Cockroaches that mimic beetles, semi-aquatic cockroaches, and cockroaches that live only in forest canopies … These are only a few of the 234 cockroach species listed as the known fauna of the Guiana Shield in a new paper published in the journal ZooKeys. It turns out that the Guiana Shield — a large region in […]

Forensic Entomology is More than Just Blow Flies and Beetles


Fans of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and similar TV shows know that forensic entomology involves the use of insects and other arthropods in legal matters, including homicide cases. Entomologists who are properly trained can find clues about a corpse — for example, time of death and whether a body has been moved — by observing […]

Examination of Museum Specimens Reveals Four New Bush Cricket Species


Museums of natural history are an important source for finding new insect species. Sometimes species lie on shelves or in drawers for years and years, waiting to be discovered. For example, a beetle discovered by Charles Darwin sat in a museum for more than 150 years until it was identified as a new species last […]

Are Asian Citrus Psyllids Afraid of Heights? Elevation Study May Provide Clues for Stopping Them


The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, was first discovered in Florida in 2005 and in Puerto Rico in 2007. Since then it has caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage by spreading a bacterium which is responsible for citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing), the most serious disease of citrus in the world. However, scientists from the […]

Planting the Wrong Kind of Milkweed May Harm Monarch Butterflies


The monarch butterfly is the Bambi of the insect world in North America, a favorite among children and adults because of its colorful wings and its migratory pattern, which takes it as far north as Canada and south into Mexico and California where it overwinters. For decades, monarch populations have fluctuated, as this graph from […]