In search of a simple, cost-effective way to maintain laboratory mosquito colonies, biologists at a mosquito control district in Florida have turned to food-grade frozen animal blood found at specialty grocery stores. They share the success of their new method for other cash-strapped mosquito-management operations in the open-access Journal of Insect Science.
With multiple species of termites responsible for structural damage in the U.S., rapid identification is a critical part of management efforts. A team of researchers has developed a faster ID method that uses a genetic tool called inter-simple sequence repeats.
Research on dung beetle behavior shows many species, especially smaller ones, choose a "sit and wait" strategy for finding food, while only larger ones actively search for food by following animals. A pair of biologists suggest this behavior is a resource-partitioning strategy to reduce competition for scarce food.
Mites in the genus Tropilaelaps could follow in the footsteps of Varroa mites as significant threats to honey bees if they were to expand their range. A new test using analysis of the "melt curves" of DNA samples can discern the four known Tropilaelaps species and could be an important tool in surveillance for the mite pests in apicultural settings.
A new study finds that three corn varieties bred for drought resistance also stand up better to the Banks grass mite when drought conditions set in—a potential boon to growers in regions with diminishing water supply.