For students and researchers in a variety of biological sciences, One Health is where many may first encounter entomology. And, conversely, entomologists working in One Health find their work intersects with a host of other fields within public health. One recent Ph.D. graduate shares her experience discovering entomology through her work in vector-borne and zoonotic diseases.
Identifying mealybug species is often a challenge, but the hibiscus mealybug (Nipaecoccus viridis) turns green in an alkaline solution—a unique indicator among mealybug species in Florida. Researchers have turned this discovery into a safe, accessible field diagnostic kit to aid growers and IPM pros in slowing the spread of this invasive pest.
As insect systematists adopt artificial intelligence as a new tool, it is becoming clear that we still need the humans who crawl through bushes, sift leaf litter, and peer into museum drawers to be the arbiters of what is biological truth versus what is an artifact of an algorithm.
Producing offspring from multiple fathers can add much-needed genetic diversity to populations of invasive insects, which often arise from a small number of individuals. New research confirms such multiple paternity occurs in spotted lanternflies, though to what degree it aids their spread needs further study.
A wide variety of insects cause their host plants to form protective galls. These abnormal growths are rich in nutrients—as well as contaminants the plant might absorb from the soil. New research shows these insect-induced galls can double as highly sensitive pollution detectors.