How to Make a Four-Eyed Beetle

beetle ectopic eye

By Viviane Callier One of evolution’s oldest tricks is to apply old genetic building blocks at new times or places in development to create a new structure. But that isn’t the only way to innovate: A new study on dung beetles published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that eliminating […]

Entomology Takes the Stage (and the Airwaves) at Science Friday Live

science friday live - field visit

Last Saturday, on the stage of the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas, entomologist Rachel Stone told the audience gathered there that a pile of animal poop is a lot like a pile of cheeseburgers—to a dung beetle, that is. Stone, a graduate researcher working in forensic ecology at Wichita State University, was a guest for […]

Insect Astronauts: Eclipse Watchers Learn About Entomology in Orbit

insect astronauts display

By Tanya Josek On August 21 in Goreville, Illinois, hundreds of people from the Midwest gathered at the town’s village park to witness a breathtaking event—a total solar eclipse. While there were lawn chairs, cameras, and telescopes scattered throughout the park—as you’d expect—the gathering also featured a group of outreach tables for pre-eclipse activities hosted […]

Characterizing the Link Between Climate and Thermal Limits in Beetles

Kimberly Sheldon

By Amanda Biederman Amid concerns over a rapidly changing climate, the abilities of different insects to survive at warmer temperatures has become a major question of interest. Kimberly Sheldon, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is employing a comprehensive approach to this problem. Sheldon is studying the effects of climate change on […]

Dung Beetles Evolved in Association with Dinosaurs, New Research Suggests

An international team of scientists uncovered the first molecular evidence indicating that dung beetles evolved in association with dinosaurs. The findings place the origin of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in the Lower Cretaceous period, with the first major diversification occurring in the middle of the Cretaceous. This timeline places their origins approximately 30 million years […]