In a study of mosquitoes in and around the Nashville Zoo, northern cardinals were found to be the most common source of the mosquitoes' blood meals, despite more than 300 species of animals on exhibit. None the less, the study suggests zoos are a valuable resource for monitoring mosquito species diversity, biology, and pathogen presence.
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.
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.