Horn Fly Biocontrol: In Search of Faster Fungus

cattle with horn flies

By Ed Ricciuti Soon after silkworm eggs were smuggled out of China in the 12th Century, northern Italy and France emerged as centers of silk production, an industry almost brought to a standstill in the early 1800s by a mysterious disease that killed the caterpillars on which it depended. Bacteriologist Augustino Bassi determined the disease […]

Approaches and Challenges to Managing Nosema in Honey Bee Colonies

By Erin Weeks It’s a tough time to be a pollinator. Bee, butterfly, and bat populations are in decline across the globe. Even the honey bee, perhaps the best-studied pollinator, has suffered great losses as beekeepers and researchers struggle to identify the causes. In recent years, it’s become clear that no one factor is responsible […]

Beetle Farmers 2.0: A Super-symbiont Fungus Supports a Complex Beetle Society

By Jiri Hulcr and Matt Kasson Eating wood is really tough. Many insects are pretty good at chewing wood with their mandibles, but they can’t produce the right concoction of enzymes to digest the chains of cellulose and lignin. That’s what fungi are good at, and that’s why most wood on this planet is not […]

Entomopathogenic Fungi Can Help to Control Filth Flies

By Josh Lancette Researchers at the University of Florida found that a commercial formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum was effective at reducing house fly and stable fly egg-laying and inhibiting house fly development. Formulations of another fungus called Beauveria bassiana were also found to be effective, albeit less so. Stable flies and house […]

Research on Fungus-farming Beetles Reveals a New Wood-decaying Fungus

By Jiri Hulcr Who was the first farmer on Earth, over 60 million years ago? Which insect group includes the most invasive and deadly vectors of tree diseases? And which fungi have foregone sex and independence only to become a garden crop that smells like ripe fruit? Welcome to the diverse and bizarre world of […]