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Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals and ESA members

Bactrocera dorsalis

Gut Microbes Can Help Insects Beat Pesticides

Insects have evolved a variety of mechanisms to try to overcome the effects of insecticides—including, in some cases, help from the bacteria and other microbes living in insects' guts. A growing number of studies indicate a link between symbiotic microbes and insecticide resistance in a diverse range of insects.

lone star tick - Amblyomma americanum

Landscape Terrain Provides New Angle for Measuring Tick Abundance

A study of lone star ticks in the forested Missouri Ozarks found that nymphs and adults were more abundant in valleys and on north-facing hills than in other areas. Meanwhile, nymphs appeared less often in the areas of greater temperature variability, while adults were less prevalent with increased elevation.

Male SWD marked blue

Study Shines a (Fluorescent) Light on Invasive Fruit Fly Trapping

To estimate the catch rate of traps for invasive spotted-wing drosophila fruit flies in tart cherry orchards, researchers at Michigan State University first marked thousands of flies with fluorescent dust and released them. Then they counted the recaptured flies under ultraviolet light.

Pepper with European corn borer larva

Bt Corn Adoption Benefits Other Crops, Too

A new study of 40 years' worth of data from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States finds that widespread adoption of insect-resistant Bt corn has reduced pest damage and the need for insecticide applications in offsite, non-Bt crops such as pepper, green beans, and sweet corn, as well.

Flood at University of Oklahoma Biological Station

After a Flood, How Do Insects and Other Invertebrates Recover?

After a 100-year flood struck south central Oklahoma in 2015, a study of the insects, arthropods, and other invertebrates in the area revealed striking declines of most invertebrates in the local ecosystem, a result that researchers say illustrates the hidden impacts of natural disasters.

banker plants for aphid control

Got Aphids? Call in the Reinforcements With Banker Plants

To manage pest infestations in greenhouses, banker plants draw in different insect species that don’t feed on the main crop but do serve as hosts for predator insects that will also attack the pest on the main crop—a useful (and green) tool for integrated pest management.

allium leafminer female ovipositing on onion plant

Invasive Fly Targets North American Onions, Leeks, Related Crops

The allium leafminer damages crops such as onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks through larval feeding and adult egg-laying in plant tissue. Native to Europe, the invasive species was first discovered in North America in December 2015 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Sclerodermus macrogaster

Curious Wasp Specimen Leads Entomologist to Find a First

When Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., joined Penn State University's entomology extension program in 2017, it wasn't long before he had a mystery on his hands: A wasp specimen from an infestation of a residence that appeared to be of a genus not previously known to invade homes in North America.

mosquitoes in lab

Study Shows Rapid Evolution in Lab-Reared Insects

A wide variety of insects (such as mosquitoes, shown here) are raised in the laboratory. A new review of research on lab-reared insects shows that they evolve rapidly as they progress through generations raised in artificial environments.