Ants Survive for Years in Nuclear Weapons Bunker without Food


Since 2012, as part of a campaign to count overwintering bats, scientists have examined an old nuclear weapons bunker in Poland. In the summer of 2013, they made another discovery: a population of wood ants (Formica polyctena) was living down there in conditions that made it extremely difficult to survive. The ants had little or […]

From Turtle Shell to Poop Umbrella, This Is One Unusual Group of Beetles


By Leslie Mertz Tortoise beetles are a bizarre group. They look somewhat like tiny turtles with a colorful, or in some species translucent, carapace (the upper shell in turtles), and they engage in some unusual behaviors, including carrying an “umbrella” made of their feces. “I adore these beetles — everything they do is kind of […]

Will Insects Be the Food of the Future? Find Out at ICE 2016


By Florence Dunkel At the 2016 International Congress of Entomology, which will be held September 25-30 in Orlando, Florida, there will be an amazing set of 28 speakers who will tackle not just one, but four complex issues that some call wicked problems. These speakers from nine countries (Brazil, Thailand, India, China, Japan, USA, England, […]

Chemicals from a Mosquito Predator May Be Used to Control Them


For decades, people have used a biological pesticide called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) to control mosquitoes and other insects. Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that produces a protein that is toxic to insects, but is safe for humans. Organic farmers spray it on their crops in powder form, and modern plant breeders have inserted genes […]

Teachers workshop at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando


School teachers from Florida and other states are invited to attend a workshop on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida (Rooms W2224 G&H in the west concourse of the center). STEMbugs, a workshop for primary and secondary school educators, will show teachers how to develop new lesson plans […]

Traveling Bees Have More Stress and Shorter Lives


Research from North Carolina State University, published in Scientific Reports, shows that travel can adversely affect bee health and lifespans. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are frequently trucked around the United States to pollinate crops like apples, almonds and berries. The new research shows that traveling bees generally have shorter lives than stationary bees, and they […]

A New Psyllid Pest on Ornamental Trees in California


By Surendra K. Dara If California and Florida compete (or collaborate, to be politically correct) for anything of agricultural importance other than strawberries and oranges, it would be the influx of invasive pests. Being major ports of entries for international trade and travel on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and having ideal environmental conditions — […]

New Fossil Evidence Shows Beetles Pollinated Orchids Millions of Years Ago


By John P. Roche For flowering plants to reproduce sexually, they need to disperse pollen so that the male gametes in the pollen can reach and fertilize the egg in the plant embryo sac. Plants have evolved a variety of mechanisms to disperse pollen. Among them, orchids have evolved a mechanism using pollination structures called […]

Soybean’s Wild Relatives May Provide Clues for Managing Kudzu Bugs


When the kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria) was first discovered in the southeastern U.S. in 2009, it received an ambiguous welcome. As its name implies, it feeds on kudzu, an invasive, viney weed that smothers other plants, so it was believed that it could possibly used as a biological control agent to help manage kudzu vines. […]

New Research Reveals How Flesh Flies Hear

Flies in the genus Emblemasoma.

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists have clocked many hours studying how females of various parasitoid flies home in on the calls of cicadas, grasshoppers, and other insects that are their hosts. Research into the mechanics and workings of the ears that are used to do it, however, is far less glitzy and has received scant attention, […]