Nitro-Nosh: Why Termites’ Molted Exoskeletons Never Go to Waste
Termites' wood-heavy diet offers little nitrogen, a critical nutrient for growth and reproduction. But their exoskeletons are nitrogen rich, and new research shows that eating shed exoskeletons after molting is a core strategy for recycling nitrogen throughout the termite colony and boosting the queen's egg-laying.
Amped-Up Ants: Caterpillars’ Sugary Treats Earn Carpenter Ant Care
A new study finds endangered Miami blue butterfly larvae survive in greater numbers when protected by Florida carpenter ants, which fend off predators in exchange for the caterpillars' sugary secretions.
How Insect Interactions Vary by Height in Turfgrass
Much like the different environments of a forest floor and treetops, interactions among insects and related arthropods vary within the much smaller-scale vertical zones of a turfgrass "canopy." Researchers using clay models of caterpillars to lure predatory arthropods are revealing what a difference a few centimeters can make.
Sweep Net in the Sky: Team Designs Drone for Insect Scouting
Unmanned aerial vehicles are finding a variety of applications in agriculture, and a team at the University of Idaho has developed an open-source drone design that can successfully sample insects in a field.