A new study has mounted perhaps the most intricate, detailed look ever at the diversity in structure and form of bees, offering new insights in a long-standing debate over how complex social behaviors arose in certain branches of bees’ evolutionary tree. The report offers strong evidence that complex social behavior developed just once in pollen-carrying bees, rather than twice or more, separately, in different evolutionary branches—but researchers say the case is far from closed.
Advances in genetic analysis methods have opened new research opportunities using old source material: museum specimens. A study on three families of moths illustrates the potential of the new technique, dubbed "museomics."
Researchers have synonymized the bumble bee species Bombus fernaldae with Bombus flavidus, establishing the latter, a cuckoo that parasitizes other bumble bee colonies, as the most broadly distributed bumble bee species of any kind in the world.
Meet Cryptocteniza kawtak, a newly described genus and species of trapdoor spider that likely dates to the Cretaceous. The researcher who found it first spotted it in 1997 but was finally able to enter it in the scientific record after finding another specimen two decades later.
A new key to Cynipoidea, a superfamily of at least 3,000 species of wasps, published in the journal Insect Systematics and Diversity, promises to open up new avenues for research on and management of gall wasps and their relatives.