Water-Resistant Bait Could Deliver Much-Needed Improvement in Pest Ant Control

Red imported fire ants

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and the little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) are just two species of invasive ants that have thrived since their introduction to the U.S. The former has spread through much of the southeastern United States, while the latter has become widespread on the Big Island of Hawaii. In both […]

Invasive Russian Wheat Aphid Can Hybridize Native Western Wheat Aphid

Russian wheat aphid

By Ed Ricciuti As scientists fight to keep a step ahead of an invasive aphid that can genetically reinvent itself to penetrate the defenses of wheat varieties designed to resist it, they are following advice from the ancient Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu: Know your enemy. Since the 1980s, the Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) […]

Why So Blue? Abdomen Color in Asian Citrus Psyllid Offers Clue to Spread of Citrus Greening Disease

Asian citrus psyllid color morphs

What do horseshoe crabs have to do with citrus greening disease? Well, nothing really. But the protein that famously gives horseshoe crabs their blue blood has been found at increased levels in some Asian citrus psyllids (Diaphorina citri), which researchers suspect is evidence of the insect’s immune response to the citrus greening disease bacteria that […]

Farm to Trough: How House Flies Could Reduce Waste and Feed Livestock

house fly

As the global human population continues to rise, researchers are turning to the potential role insects might play in growing the global food supply. A new study from researchers at Cornell University points to the house fly (Musca domestica) as a viable source of a protein-rich food source—not for humans, but for livestock. As reported […]

Morphological Traits Relate to Mating Strategies in Male Japanese Stag Beetles

Prosopocoilus inclinatus

By John P. Roche Male Japanese stag beetles (Prosopocoilus inclinatus) have battles to defend territories to earn the opportunity to mate with females. They use enlarged mandibles that look like the horns of male deer to battle for these matings—hence the name stag beetles. Stag beetles that win male-male contests usually succeed in mating, and […]

Characterizing the Link Between Climate and Thermal Limits in Beetles

Kimberly Sheldon

By Amanda Biederman Amid concerns over a rapidly changing climate, the abilities of different insects to survive at warmer temperatures has become a major question of interest. Kimberly Sheldon, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is employing a comprehensive approach to this problem. Sheldon is studying the effects of climate change on […]

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle or Oriental Flower Beetle? New Genetic Test Gives Faster Answer

coconut rhinoceros beetle

Just more than three years ago, the coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) arrived in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. The invasive species is native to Southeast Asia and has not yet become widespread on Oahu, and insect scientists there are working to keep it that way, as the beetle is a damaging pest of […]

New Wasp Species Discovered Parasitizing Pests of Pine Trees

Baryscapus dioryctriae is a new species of wasp that parasitizes two moths of the genus Dioryctria, a pest of pine trees in China. (Photo credit: Li-Wen Song, et al)

By Josh Lancette A new parasitoid wasp species, named Baryscapus dioryctriae, has been discovered in China. The new species is known to parasitize larvae of two species of Dioryctria, which are serious pests of pine trees, and was found during a survey looking for natural enemies of Dioryctria pryeri and D. abietella. This finding, published […]

You’ve Got Ants: New 10-Minute Test Kit Detects Red Imported Fire Ants

red imported fire ant

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an invasive species from South America that is damaging to agriculture and wildlife and known for its painful, venomous sting. That venom, however, is now a promising tool for entomological researchers in fighting back against S. invicta and limiting its spread. Throughout the southeastern United States, shipments […]

Could a Large-Scale Zika Outbreak Occur in the United States?

water storage tanks

By Josh Lancette While recent news cycles in the United States largely have been dominated by election coverage, the threat of Zika remains a concern both locally and globally, with a recent outbreak in Brownsville, Texas, a study finding more than half of Brazilian women are avoiding pregnancy because of Zika, and the CDC sending […]