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Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals, members, and beyond

Closeup of a goldenrod stem on which a large round gall has formed. The stem and gall are purplish-red in color. The gall is several times wider than the narrow stem extending below and above the gall. Two narrow leaves grow out from the gall. Yellow goldenrod flowers can be seen, out of focus, in the background.

How Some Insects Turn Plants Into Pollution Detectors

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.

Closeup of a stink bug, nearly uniformly bright green in color, crawling along a horizontal plant stem.

Stink Bug Saliva: A Potent Mix to Bypass Plant Defenses

The biochemical conflict between plants and the insects that eat them is vastly complex, as illustrated by new research identifying nearly 700 proteins in the saliva of just five stink bug species, many of which play potential roles in suppressing or deactivating plants' own chemical defenses.

Several multi-colored honey bee hive boxes sit in rows in a small clearing between rows of blueberry bushes in a field near a dirt road on a sunny day.

Even on Farms, Bees Look For a Balanced Diet

A study of managed bumble bees and honey bees on a blueberry farm finds that most of the pollen they collect comes from other plants, suggesting that supplementing crops with a diversity of nearby plant types makes for healthier bees.