In two endangered beetle species that live in the Edwards Aquifer in Texas, males and females are nearly indiscernible. A new study suggests the quickest way to ID males versus females is to shine a light through them, illuminating internal organs that reveal the difference.
In the first field study of its kind, researchers confirmed Peromyscus mouse nests as understudied habitats for ticks, including blacklegged ticks and American dog ticks. Researchers are hoping to better understand the role of mouse-tick interactions within nests in the spread of tick-borne disease.
Sometimes, less is more. Case in point: the mass-rearing program that produces millions of sterile Mexican fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens) for managing wild populations. Scientists refining the effort find that a lower ratio of males to females in mating cages leads to higher fecundity and fertility in the females—and higher cost-effectiveness for the operation.
LeafByte is a free, open-source mobile app for quickly measuring leaf damage caused by herbivorous insect pests. If you've ever considered building a mobile app to aid in your research, here's a first-hand account from the Cornell entomology student who took LeafByte from idea to action.
As human-driven changes to ecosystems drive insect declines on both local and perhaps global scales, entomologists and ecologists are hard at work building the research-based foundations necessary for managed insect-conservation efforts.