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.
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.
A simple tent equipped with a carefully selected mesh can be a helpful tool in augmentative biological control efforts. With infested fruit placed inside, the mesh keeps pest insects in but allows parasitoids to escape and continue their work as natural enemies of target pests.
An endangered species of aquatic beetle, known as the Comal Springs riffle beetle, inhabits just two spring systems in Texas and is at the center of ongoing protection efforts. A new study offers important insight into how to rear the species in captivity for conservation.
Dubbed a "living fossil" by researchers, the Yao silkworm has been domesticated in virtual isolation for a millennium by the Baiku Yao ethnic group in China. New genetic research on the strain finds that the Yao silkworm is a primitive form of the domestic silkworm species Bombyx mori and more distantly related to other wild silkworm species.