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.
When plastic debris pollutes soil ecosystems, some insects may play a role in spreading it by breaking it down into microplastic particles. A new study sheds light on this dynamic by looking at a variety of soil invertebrates and their taste for polystyrene.
In the search for new avenues to protect honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Varroa mites, researchers have identified breeds of A. mellifera that show signs of "social apoptosis," a defense mechanism common in Asian bees that are resistant to Varroa infestation.