Tiny beetles once known as tea shot hole borers are actually a group of four distinct species that appear almost exactly the same to even the trained eye. In a new study, researchers combine both physical measurements and molecular genetics to better define the members of the Euwallacea fornicatus cryptic species complex.
Some insects look like science-fiction stars precisely because the creative minds behind popular entertainment look to insects to spark their imagination.
Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the transport of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, sterilized males—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population's ability to reproduce or transmit disease. But, getting mosquitoes from lab to wild presents logistical challenges. A team led by researchers at New Mexico State University are tackling this problem and have made a surprising discovery about just how tightly live mosquitoes can be packed up.
Despite headlines to the contrary in British tabloids this fall, harlequin ladybird beetles are not killing off native species by giving them a sexually transmitted fungal infection. "There have been stories mixing up various research findings into quite sensational headlines, which is a shame because these fungi and the ladybirds are fascinating in their own right," says ecological entomologist Helen Roy, Ph.D., of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Wallingford, England.
Learning how cuckoo bumble bees cheat the eusocial system can tell scientists a lot about how insect sociality evolves and how hosts and parasites coevolve. But, as other bees face declines, cuckoo bees will only get more difficult to study.