Hormones Control Eyespot Size in the Butterfly Bicyclus anynana

Bicyclus anynana male and female

The butterfly Bicyclus anynana has beautiful eyespots on its wings, which function in sexual signaling and predator deflection. For years researchers believed that the differences between male and female wing patterns were regulated cell-autonomously by a gene called doublesex. Now, new research shows that male and female Bicyclus butterflies have different levels of the hormone ecdysone, which regulates their different-sized eyespots.

Another Step Forward in Genetic Engineering of Mosquitoes

mosquitoes cuticle-color genes disrupted

“Yellow, three-eyed, wingless mosquitoes” have made headlines this week, but the researchers at the University of California, Riverside, behind the news call the disruption of mosquitoes’ cuticle, wing, and eye development a “proof of concept” for a new advance in the genetic engineering method known as CRISPR/Cas9. The method may accelerate scientists’ work toward identifying the genes to target for disruption of mosquitoes’ ability to carry and transmit human diseases.

Short Bait Exposure Provides Control of Asian Subterranean Termite Colonies

Coptotermes gestroi termites

A new study in the Journal of Economic Entomology shows exposure to an insecticide bait known as a chitin synthesis inhibitor for as little as one day may be sufficient to eliminate a colony of Asian subterranean termites (Coptotermes gestroi).

Little Yellow Ant is Next Invasive to Arrive in Florida

little yellow ant

“It was just a matter of time before it showed up,” says Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D. The little yellow ant (Plagiolepis alluaudi) is a tropical species, native to Madagascar, but it had made its way to the Caribbean sometime in the past decade. And now it’s been found in Florida. Chouvenc is an assistant professor of […]

Pennies for Parasitoids: Savings Add Up When Rearing Wasps on Alternate Hosts

Telenomus remus on Spodoptera frugiperda eggs

By Edward Ricciuti Getting more bang for the buck out of mass production is the Holy Grail for manufacturers, whether they are making automobiles, appliances, or natural enemies that can be used as biological control agents against pest insects.  Sometimes, as research in Brazil suggests, the most cost-effective method requires a little tweaking of what […]