Scientists Have Sequenced the Genome of the Tick that Transmits Lyme Disease

Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis)

An international team of scientists led by Purdue University has sequenced the genome of the tick that transmits Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in North America. Ixodes scapularis, known as the blacklegged tick or the deer tick, is the first tick species to have its genome sequenced. The decade-long project, involving 93 authors […]

New Chewing Lice Species Named after Darth Vader

A new louse species has been named Ricinus vaderi after Darth Vader, the evil character in the Star Wars movies, because of the similarity between the head of the louse and Darth Vader’s helmet. Ricinus, the largest genus of chewing lice, parasitizes perching birds in the order Passeriformes. The new species is described in the […]

Adding Pheromones to Baits Helps Control Invasive Argentine Ants

By Josh Lancette Argentine ants have been marching across the United States for the past few decades, despite the best pest control efforts. However, the authors of a new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology may have found a better, more environmentally friendly way to stop the procession. The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is […]

Museum Collections and Notes Lead to the Rediscovery of a Grasshopper Not Seen in 60 Years

By Derek A. Woller On May 12, 2015, JoVonn G. Hill and I fulfilled an eight-year-long odyssey to locate a grasshopper species endemic to the sandhills of the state of Georgia, and the entire saga was recently published in Transactions of the American Entomological Society. Not seen for almost 60 years, Melanoplus foxi is small […]

Radio Tagging Bumble Bees to Figure Out What the Buzz Is All About

By Jeremy Hemberger Bees are on a lot of folk’s minds these days, and for good reason. They provide pollination services to over 70% of the crops worldwide, helping to get us the delicious and nutritious foods that we love, like apples, cucumbers, cherries, berries, and more. Despite their importance across the planet, they’ve taken […]