Stink Bugs’ Tree Host Preferences May Provide Management Clues


By Kevin Fitzgerald Since its discovery in Pennsylvania in 1998, the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), an invasive species native to eastern Asia, has swept into most U.S. states, parts of Canada, and several European countries. The creature feasts on a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, soybeans, and ornamental plants. New research published in […]

Researchers Sequence Genome of the Australian Sheep Blowfly


All 14,544 genes of the Australian sheep blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) have been identified by an international research team led by the University of Melbourne. The research, published in Nature Communications, provides insights into the fly’s molecular biology, how it interacts with the sheep’s biology and, importantly, shows its potential to develop insecticide resistance. This blow […]

Wisconsin Butterfly Conservation Program Could Be a Model for Future Efforts


By Ed Ricciuti An endangered butterfly with a one-inch wingspan is the focus of a cutting-edge recovery program in Wisconsin that has become a model for other recovery plans for imperiled species. A history of the program, described in an article published in American Entomologist, could be a blueprint for similar efforts to save habitats […]

Pests Can Evolve Resistance to Many Types of Control Methods, Not Just Chemicals


By Richard Levine Agricultural pests, such as insects and weeds, can be incredibly adept at developing resistance to control methods. When you mention the word “resistance,” most people probably think of pests becoming resistant to certain chemicals — weeds becoming herbicide resistant, or insects becoming resistant to insecticides, for example. However, there are many other […]

UCR Student Finds New Firefly Species in Southern California


An undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a new species of firefly from Southern California. Joshua Oliva found a specimen of the new species while collecting near Topanga, CA as part of his semester’s insect collection. “He wasn’t 100 percent certain it was a firefly, and brought it to me for […]

Six New Ant Species Found in Madagascar


First it was 10 new species of spiders, and now it’s six new species of ants found in Madagascar. Two researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, Rick Overson and Brian Fisher, have described six new species of strange subterranean ants from the genus Prionopelta found in Madagascar and Seychelles. The descriptions appear in the […]

Ten New Spider Species Found in Madagascar


An international team of researchers has discovered ten new spider species in Madagascar. All ten belong to the genus Anelosimus, which is in the family Theridiidae. The names of some of them are very recognizable. For example, Anelosimus darwini honors Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary biology, and Anelosimus wallacei is named after Alfred Russel […]

Patagonian Shield Bug Named After Middle’s Earth’s Smaug the Dragon


By Eduardo Faúndez Last year I wrote about some interesting scientific names that have been given to insects, and about why entomologists choose such names. Now we can add a new one to the list, this one based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels, which have inspired many people around the world, including […]

West Coast Flies to the Rescue of East Coast Hemlock Forests


A tiny fly from the Pacific Northwest may provide new hope for towering hemlock forests dying along the East Coast. Deep-green hemlock forests stretch from Georgia to southern Canada — at least they used to. Over the last few decades, an invasive insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) has killed millions of these […]

Study Finds Very Few Wild Bee Species Pollinate Major Crops


A major international study finds that surprisingly few bee species are responsible for pollinating the world’s crops. The paper, published in Nature Communications, suggests that only two percent of wild bee species pollinate 80 percent of bee-pollinated crops worldwide. The study is one of the largest on bee pollination to date. While agricultural development and […]