With Just One Queen, How Do Honey Bees Avoid Inbreeding?

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Like other social insects, honey bees live in colonies consisting mainly of closely-related members. However, high genetic diversity among the workers is important for the whole colony’s survival because it makes them better equipped to perform the diverse tasks required in the colony, and it means they will likely be less susceptible to disease. But […]

New Lucid Key to North American Rove Beetle Subfamilies

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Michael Ferro, Margaret Thayer, Alfred Newton, and Jong-Seok Park have created an interactive, online Lucid key to North American subfamilies of Staphylinidae, commonly known as rove beetles. One out of every five beetles in the U.S. is a rove beetle, and their key is designed to make the first step in identification a little bit […]

Monitoring Ecological Change with Northern Beetles

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By Chris Buddle Beetles are among the most adored of all insects. They exemplify diversity, perform virtually all ecological functions, and they are beautiful. They capture our imagination and wonder. Beetles are also found across the continent, including the far northern tundra in Canada. Some people find this surprising, but beetles — and other arthropods, […]

Two New Creeping Water Bug Species Found in Belize and Peru

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By Kevin Fitzgerald Two new insect species have been added to the 900,000+ species that have previously been described: Ambrysus cayo, which was found in streams in western Belize, and Procryphocricos pilcopata, which was found in streams in southeastern Peru. Both are true bugs in the suborder Heteroptera in the family Naucoridae and the subfamily […]

Anopheles Mosquitoes as Vectors of Malaria in East Africa: Bed Nets and Beyond

Anopheles gambiae

By John P. Roche Malaria is a devastating disease, with almost two hundred million cases and half a million deaths per year worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that the rate of mortality from malaria has decreased 47% since the year 2000, and the reduction in the rate of mortality has been even more impressive […]

New Research May Lead to Breathalyzer Test for Malaria

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 500,000 people die each year from malaria, a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes in the genus Anopheles. In addition to the half a million deaths, about 200 million people are infected annually. Now researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian […]

Bacteria Can Aid Aphids Against Predation and Parasitism

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By Meredith Swett Walker Aphids are among the most destructive plant pests. The small, sap-sucking insects are the bane of many a farmer and gardener. Typically soft bodied and without obvious weapons, aphids seem defenseless. So how do these tiny little morsels defend themselves from predators and other enemies? They do it with a little […]

OUP Supporting World Malaria Day by Highlighting Top Articles

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World Malaria Day is Saturday, April 25, 2015 The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 584,000 people died in 2013 from malaria, a preventable and curable disease transmitted to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk, but the most common victims are women and children […]

Predatory Wasps and Citizen Scientists are Taking on the Emerald Ash Borer

Cerceris-fumipennis

By Kevin Fitzgerald The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a pest species that has killed tens of millions of ash trees and has the potential to kill most of the 8.7 billion ash trees in North America. The beetle, native to Asia, was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in 2002 in Michigan. Since then, […]

Invasive Parasitic Fly on Galápagos Islands Probably Came from Mainland Ecuador

Philornis-downsi

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 […]