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Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals and ESA members

Honey bee gait on vertical wall walking straight

Want a Wall-Walking Robot? Look to the Honey Bees

Research into the pattern of walking in honey bees as they scale a vertical surface shows they switch their style of gait when turning compared to when walking in a straight line. The insights into bees' biomechanics may have future applications in robotics.

Female anopheles gambiae mosquito feeding detailed high definiti

Cannibalism in Mosquito Larvae Confounds Egg Counts

New research shows that late-stage Anopheles gambiae larvae will eat eggs and first-instar larvae of their own species, calling into question the common view that females of the mosquito species avoid laying eggs in water where other larvae are already present.

insect and arthropod specimens in resin

Team Develops New Protocol for Embedding Insects in Resin

Insect and arthropod specimens set in clear resin are a valuable tool for teaching entomology both in the classroom and in public outreach. A team at Texas A&M University has developed an efficient, cost-effective process for resin casting and shares the instructions with the entomological community.

insect sampling - bodycam evaluation 1

Bodycams Can Make for Better Agricultural Pest Management, Too

In a new study at the University of Arizona, researchers used body-mounted cameras to evaluate the efficiency of two insect pest sampling techniques—a sweepnet and a vacuum—in a cotton field. The perspective offered new insights into how such methods can be evaluated and could help growers and integrated pest management professionals further fine-tune their sampling techniques.

three tick species

In Tick Management, Species Matters

One key factor plays a role in how well any particular tick-management method might work: Which tick species is it best suited for? A new guide in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management reviews research on tick management tools and their effectiveness on three tick species: the blacklegged tick, the lone star tick, and the American dog tick.

spotted-wing drosophila feeding on strawberry puree

Fruit DNA in Invasive Flies’ Guts Could Help Track Their Dispersal

A recent study at North Carolina State University shows that DNA analysis of spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) flies can detect whether they fed on strawberries as much as seven days prior. Researchers hope the proof of concept will lead to more accurate analysis of the invasive pest's dispersal in the field.

Haemaphysalis longicornis

Invasive Tick Persists in New Jersey

Officials in New Jersey report that the invasive tick Haemaphysalis longicornis has successfully overwintered and was found once again on a rural property in mid-April 2018, after an infestation was reported there in 2017, the first such appearance of the species within North American borders.

eastern larch beetle

Eastern Larch Beetle Outbreak Just Keeps Going When Winter’s Not So Cold

The current outbreak of eastern larch beetle in northern Minnesota is going into its 18th year, and researchers have found that at least some eastern larch beetles are able to reach maturity without requiring an overwintering period. In short, warmer winters mean eastern larch beetle is killing trees faster than it can be managed.

chigger mite

Mites Emerge as Key Vector in Encephalitis Outbreaks in India

Larval mites, known as "chiggers," from the family Trombiculidae are vectors of the bacteria that causes scrub typhus. The infection has been implicated as a common cause of acute encephalitis syndrome in India, where public health professionals are looking to better understand the variety of mite species present on rodents and their rates of infection.

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.