Freshly burned longleaf pine forests have more than double the total number of bees and bee species than similar forests that have not burned in over 50 years, according to new research from North Carolina State University.
In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a look at recent entomological research on how some insects and other arthropods woo one another with gifts.
Researchers find that the butterfly species Bicyclus anynana passes down a preference for leaves that smell like banana to its next generation—another curious example of inheritance of a learned trait.
It's easier to manage an insect pest if you can predict where and when it's likely to show up, rather than trying to react after it appears. The USA National Phenology Network's "Pheno Forecast" maps offer daily updates that model the temperature conditions necessary for a dozen forest insect pests. A new article in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America showcases the tool, part of a new special collection on geospatial analysis of invasive insects.
It may be just one study of one species in one field in Virginia, but 20 years of monitoring Chinese mantid numbers there illustrates the potential double whammy of habitat loss (even a naturally occurring one) and climate change.
A growing consensus deems Varroa mite infestation to be the leading factor in the struggles of honey bees in managed hives around the world. A new profile in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management details the biology and life cycle of the Varroa destructor mite and the IPM approach to control the devastating ectoparasites.
Black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) live in decomposing, bacteria-rich organic material, which demands a potent immune system. A study by researchers in Peru and France has isolated four peptides from larvae of the black soldier fly that display antibacterial properties, suggesting further "bioprospecting" research into black soldier flies could one day generate useful new antibacterial compounds for medical use.
An entomologist examining wasp specimens in fossilized amber from the Eocene (34–55 million years ago) has identified them as a new species, Brachyelatus marthae, and the first fossil specimens from the chalcid wasp subfamily Chrysolampinae.
Citrus greening disease is seriously hindering citrus production in the United States, but generating widespread adoption of the best integrated pest management practices among growers is a challenge, especially when livelihoods are on the line. Recognizing the strong economic factors at play in management decisions will help improve plans for increasing IPM adoption.
Research in the Sierra Nevada region of California illustrates the varying flower choices of bumble bees: The five most common bumble bee species studied each selected a different assortment of flowers, and each selected at least one flower species not selected by the others. The findings are already being put to use in forest restoration efforts to increase and improve quality of bumble bee habitat.
Research at Penn State University reveals the intricate flips and twists that a fly performs to execute an inverted landing. Understanding the mechanics of the motion could help engineers design robotic fliers that land upside down, too.
Entomologists at Purdue University have developed a reliable and cost-effective scouting technique for striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) in watermelon fields. Researchers working with watermelon growers say the method could significantly reduce the unnecessary use of insecticides to manage the pest.
A bed bug infestation hadn't been seen in Costa Rica since the late 1990s—until now. Researchers at the University of Costa Rica have confirmed that specimens collected from a home near San Jose in 2017 are indeed bed bugs and, surprisingly, of the temperate-zone species Cimex lectularius and not the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus.
The wheat bug Nysius huttoni is a significant pest of wheat and cereal crops as well as a variety of brassica plants, and it is widely distributed in New Zealand. In a new profile in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, two New Zealand researchers offer guidance on IPM practices for managing the wheat bug while minimizing potential nontarget impacts.
Though studied for decades as a model organism, the tobacco hornworm's lack of silk production has never been thoroughly researched, until now. A team of researchers combining high-tech microscopic imaging with genomic techniques have captured in new detail the caterpillar's first instar silk-producing anatomy and subsequent loss of that capability as it molts to later instars.
In the wetlands of the southern plains of the United States, the damselfly Enallagma civile thrives, but a new study shows rising temperatures could affect the growth, development, and survival of the species in the region.