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

An immature deer tick. Deer ticks can transmit a number of illnesses including Lyme disease. (Photo by Andrew Nuss)

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

Ricinus-vaderi

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

Argentine-ant

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

Melanoplus-foxi

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

bee-sensor

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 […]

The Aedes aegypti Mosquito Was a Problem Way Before the Zika Virus

aedes-aegypti-4

By Richard Levine Today I wrote a guest article for the Oxford University Press blog. What do Napoléon Bonaparte, Walter Reed, the Panama Canal, and the Zika virus all have in common? The answer is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector of yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and the Zika virus. The ability to transmit […]

Old Data May Provide New Insights on Honey Bee Populations

apis-mellifera-alex-wild

By Josh Lancette Over the past decade, beekeepers in the U.S. and other countries have had problems keeping their bees healthy. Some of the potential causes of their problems include the Varroa destructor mite, pesticides, pathogens, and the reduction of floral resources due to land development or conversion. This problem is of concern to both […]

Eight New Whip Spider Species Found in Brazil

Charinus-guto

Eight new whip spider species have been found in the Brazilian Amazon, almost doubling the number of known charinid whip spider species in Brazil, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Scientists have thought the Amazon may be home to diverse whip spider species, but few have been described. The authors of […]

Free Resources on Aedes aegypti and Zika Virus Research

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary carrier of the Zika virus. A new federal report offers new directions for research and development of mosquito-control efforts.

In response to the recent outbreak of the Zika virus in the Americas, Oxford University Press has curated a collection of free articles on the virus and its carrier, the yellowfever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), which is also the primary vector of yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya. These articles are freely available to assist researchers, medical […]

Citrus Growers and Plant Breeders Should Pay Attention to Citrus Flush to Fight Citrus Greening Disease

Diaphorina-citri-5006083-SMPT-2

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists have found a more efficient way to infect experimental trees with citrus greening disease, boosting efforts to find citrus varieties that are able to resist the bacterium which causes the disease. At the same time, their research has produced an unexpected bonus: a new strategy that growers can use to protect […]