A team of researchers in Taiwan has developed software driven by machine learning to accurately identify specimens—both soldiers and workers—of four different termite species. Their goal is to enable smartphone app termite ID for pest management pros and adapt the software’s use to additional species.
Genes that make mosquitoes glow under UV light help scientists measure the spread of transgenic mosquitoes after they've been released to suppress wild populations of vector mosquito species. A recent study identifies a new promoter gene for turning on fluorescent protein production in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
In June 2013, a pesticide application on ornamental trees in a shopping-center parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon, led to the largest documented mass fatality of bumble bees in North America. A new analysis of the incident estimates more than 100,000 bees from nearly 600 colonies were killed, which researchers cite as a cautionary tale about the dangers of pesticides to native bee populations.
Releasing millions of sterile insects to interfere with a wild pest population won't work if irradiating the insects also hinders their flight capacity. A new study shows this may be the case with navel orangeworm moths (Amyelois transitella), and further fine-tuning will be necessary to build a successful sterile insect technique operation to manage the pest.
Larvae of the darkling beetle species Zophobas morio have earned the nickname "superworms" for their larger size and increased nutritional potential as food and feed compared to yellow mealworms. And yet less research and regulatory consideration has focused on Z. morio, something a pair of researchers in Greece hope to change.