New Genus of Treehopper Named After Selena, the Queen of Tejano Music

Selenacentrus-wallacei

By Kevin Fitzgerald Treehoppers are found on all major landmasses except Antarctica and Madagascar. Numbering about 3,500 species in 300 genera, they are divided into three families: Aetalionidae, Melizoderidae, and Membracidae. All treehoppers feed on plant sap by sucking it out with piercing mouthparts. They feed on more than 100 herbaceous and woody plant species. […]

Nanopillars on Rat-tailed Maggots Reduce Bacterial Colonization

Eristalis-tenax

By Leslie Mertz If an insect ever needed a little love, it would be the immature stage of the drone fly (Eristalis tenax), which is known as a “rat-tailed maggot.” As it turns out, a biologist in London has taken this drone fly larva to heart and, in so doing, discovered never-before-seen structures that appear […]

Education, Mosquito Management Programs, and Cooperation Needed to Stop Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya

2006
Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame

This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host, who in this instance, was actually the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, here at the Centers for Disease Control.  The feeding apparatus consisting of a sharp, orange-colored “fascicle”, which while not feeding, is covered in a soft, pliant sheath called the "labellum”, which retracts as the sharp stylets contained within pierce the host's skin surface, as the insect obtains its blood meal. The orange color of the fascicle is due to the red color of the blood as it migrates up the thin, sharp translucent tube. Note the distended abdominal exoskeleton, which being translucent, allowed the color of the ingested blood meal to be visible.

DF and DHF are primarily diseases of tropical and sub-tropical areas, and the four different dengue serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), are maintained in a cycle that involves humans and the Aedes mosquito. However, Aedes aegypti, a domestic, day-biting mosquito that prefers to feed on humans, is the most common Aedes species. Infections produce a spectrum of clinical illness ranging from a nonspecific viral syndrome to severe and fatal hemorrhagic disease. Important risk factors for DHF include the strain of the infecting virus, as well as the age, and especially the prior dengue infection history of the patient.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) and Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil (SEB) held a Summit in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil on 13 March, 2016 to discuss the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the primary transmitter of Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. While the Summit featured talks on many aspects of mosquito biology, behavior, and control, […]

32 New Beetle Species Identified from New Brunswick, Canada

Atheta-alphacrenuliventris-Acrotona-brachyoptera

In 1991, 1,365 beetle species were known from New Brunswick. That number increased to 2,703 by 2013, but there were still gaps in the knowledge of the coleopteran fauna. Now a group of insect specialists have joined forces in the name of their love for beetles, and have compiled their findings from the last three […]

Native Predators May Be Having a Larger Impact than Expected on Invasive Stink Bug

jumping-spider

By Dr. Rob Morrison Research recently appearing in the journal Biological Control may change how we view native predators of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). BMSB is an invasive species that was accidentally introduced to the United States from Asia in Pennsylvania, and has since been detected in more than 40 U.S. states. It […]

In Subterranean Termite Colonies, Older Workers Change the Diapers

termite-grooming

By Thomas Chouvenc Well, they don’t exactly change diapers, but when it comes to the latrine and nest sanitation, old termites are in charge. Age polyethism, where workers change tasks as they age, is an elegant way for social insect colonies to effectively allocate tasks to different individuals, usually giving the more risky duties, such […]

How Do Cicadas Know When to Emerge from the Ground?

cicada-chris-simon

By Kevin Fitzgerald If you’ve never seen a cicada, you’ve certainly heard them, filling summer days and nights with their loud, raspy love songs. If you’ve seen any, you’re not likely to forget, since they are impressive insects. In the U.S., they grow up to 1.5 inches long, with wingspans of up to two inches. […]

A Nearly Extinct Butterfly Makes a Comeback in South Florida

????????????????????????????????????

By Richard Levine An article published in the journal Florida Entomologist tells the story of a butterfly that was nearly gone, but is now recovering. In fact, it’s doing so well that some people consider it to be a pest. Back in 1888, the Atala butterfly was so numerous that it was called “the most […]

Did the Malaria Parasite First Evolve in the Insect Vector or the Vertebrate Host?

Culex-malariager

By John P. Roche Malaria is a terrible problem, killing nearly half a million people per year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. This serious disease is caused by a protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. In the Anopheles mosquito, the life cycle of the parasite […]

Video on How to Make Delicious Cockroach Tapioca

Food-grade cockroaches.

By Richard Levine This week I attented the joint annual meeting of the Entomological Society of Brazil and the Latin American Congress of Entomology in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil. One day I walked by a table that had snacks for the attendees, including bowls of what looked like rice, nuts, and insects. I could clearly see […]