A group of researchers gets creative with some simple materials: strips of cardboard, rolled up and tied with string. Affixed to tree trunks or limbs, the "trunk refugia" show promise as a simple and inexpensive tool for sampling tree-dwelling insects and arthropods.
It may be just one study of one species in one field in Virginia, but 20 years of monitoring Chinese mantid numbers there illustrates the potential double whammy of habitat loss (even a naturally occurring one) and climate change.
Though studied for decades as a model organism, the tobacco hornworm's lack of silk production has never been thoroughly researched, until now. A team of researchers combining high-tech microscopic imaging with genomic techniques have captured in new detail the caterpillar's first instar silk-producing anatomy and subsequent loss of that capability as it molts to later instars.
Sometimes, less is more. Case in point: the mass-rearing program that produces millions of sterile Mexican fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens) for managing wild populations. Scientists refining the effort find that a lower ratio of males to females in mating cages leads to higher fecundity and fertility in the females—and higher cost-effectiveness for the operation.
A recent Environmental Entomology study sheds new light on how insects fit into the puzzle of sage grouse—and rangeland—conservation.
A study examining monarch butterflies' preferences for laying eggs on milkweed in cropland, open ground, or prairie—as well as predation rates on eggs in those settings—offers some mixed signals for monarch-conservation efforts.