My First Entomology Meeting: “It’s a Bug’s World”


By Chris Patrick In March 2015, the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America held their annual meeting in Rehoboth, Delaware. A newcomer to entomology, I spent most of my first meeting at the family-oriented “It’s a Bug’s World” insect expo. Children with painted faces bumbled among exhibitor tables, their pipe-cleaner antennae bouncing with […]

Mice Aren’t Nice, They Help Transmit Lyme Disease


By Hannah Foster Upon hearing the words “Lyme disease,” most people think of two things: ticks and deer. Although these are certainly important aspects of the disease, ticks and deer are only two pieces of the puzzle. Lyme disease is actually extremely complicated, and its spread is affected by a wide range of organisms. Knowing […]

Arachnid Matriphagy: These Spider Mothers Literally Die for Their Young


By Yael Lubin Maternal care can be costly. In fact, prolonged maternal care can sometimes cause a mother to delay or even forego producing additional young. An extreme case of costly reproduction occurs in the spider Stegodyphus lineatus (in the Old World family Eresidae), where the mother has only a single small clutch of young […]

Battling the Beetle: Pines in the Northwest are Under Threat


According to an article appearing in the April 2015 issue of National Geographic, more than 60 million acres of forest — from northern New Mexico through British Columbia — have suffered die-offs since the 1990s due to the spread of the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). The beetles bore through the bark and create tunnels […]

Florida Scientists Discover Super Termites, and They’re Not Genetically Modified


By Richard Levine Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) and Asian subterranean termites (Coptotermes gestroi) are the most damaging pest species in the world. Both are highly invasive and have spread throughout many areas of the world due to human activity, and their distributions overlap in some areas. Now scientists in Florida have observed Formosan males […]

Mutational Chain Reaction Can Spread Throughout Insect Populations


By David O’Brochta A report recently published in Science describes a system by which one can introduce mutations into insect genomes and have those mutations quickly spread to all of the mutant’s progeny, and to all of their progeny’s progeny, and so on.The new system does not follow the standard rules of chromosome and gene […]

Wolbachia Bacteria Can Control Mosquitoes with Fewer Chemicals


By Erin Weeks Imagine that a strain of bacteria living in your body had the power to protect you from deadly viruses, render you sterile, or even help give rise to a new species of human. For insects, it’s not just fantasy — one widespread variety of bacteria possesses all of these powers, and many […]

Three New Millipede Species Discovered in Australia


A tiny new millipede — just one centimeter long — has been found which is only known to occur within the city of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. It was discovered in a city park by two local naturalists, Wade and Lisa Clarkson. Working with millipede specialist Dr. Bob Mesibov of Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art […]

Study Finds Imidacloprid Safe for Honey Bees at Realistic Exposure Levels


Honey bee colony declines are a major threat worldwide. Among the lineup of possible causes — including parasites, disease, climate stress, and malnutrition — many have pointed the finger squarely at insecticides as a prime suspect, especially at a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. However, a new study from the University of Maryland shows […]

Planthopper Wing Shape Controlled by Two Insulin Receptors


By Viviane Callier Insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose in humans, is also produced by insects and, according to a study published in Nature, two different insulin receptors convey cues that enable some insects to predict their future environments and to develop functionally-appropriate wings. Some larval insects have the difficult task of predicting the […]