When scientists discovered specimens of the invasive giant hornet Vespa mandarinia on both sides of the border between Washington and British Columbia in 2019, they sought to find out how they arrived from Asia. Analysis of their mitochondrial DNA provided an interesting twist: The hornets on each side of the border likely did not come from the same location in Asia.
Two researchers compile existing research and additional observations to update the list of potential host plants for the invasive spotted lanternfly, bringing the worldwide total of plants the insect will feed on to 103—of which 56 are present in North America.
Lab testing of the flight capability of the weevil Rhynchophorus palmarum shows some "super-flyers" can fly more than 100 kilometers in 24 hours. With the species appearing recently on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, the findings are a concern for California's $100 million date palm industry.
For the invasive fruit fly known as spotted wing drosophila, its success in expanding into new ranges is driven at least in part by a high degree of phenotypic plasticity—the ability to shift traits in response to environmental influences.