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.