Here’s How Homeowners Can Avoid Problems with Wasps

Polistes-dominula

By Tom McShane Summer is right round the corner. As the weather changes, so does the life cycle of a number of insects, especially wasps. It won’t be long before wasps are at their peak for the year, and you have most likely seen wasps starting to emerge. So what exactly can you expect from […]

Trichogramma Wasps Used as Biocontrol Agents in the Greater Mekong Region

Trichogramma-wasp

Wasps in the genus Trichogramma are tiny beneficial wasps that feed on the eggs of several insect pests. To help rice farmers in the Greater Mekong Region, a project was launched in 2011 to promote the establishment of Trichogramma mass-production facilities and affordable and practical pest control methods. Rice is culture and a way of […]

Galls! Galls! Galls! The Insects Behind the Weird Growths on Plants

The insect larva grows inside this goldenrod ball gall. In this species, the larva has mouthparts that can chew through the gall, but the adult doesn’t, so the larva has to chew its exit tunnel before it pupates or it cannot get out, according to environmental educator, writer and photographer Kate Redmond of Wisconsin. Photo by Kate Redmond.

By Leslie Mertz Apples on oak trees, pine cones on willows, finger-like projections on leaves — what’s going on? These are some of the amazing growths called galls that develop on plants, courtesy of insects. Exactly how the insects orchestrate gall formation, however, remains one of the great mysteries of nature. Galls start when a […]

Photo Slices Provide Detailed Images of Tiny Wasps for Biocontrol Efforts

parasitoid-wasp

Using specialized digital photography methods, USDA scientists are producing high-resolution images of members of the wasp superfamily Platygastroidea. According to Elijah Talamas, a postdoctoral scientist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the photographic process begins with positioning a wasp specimen under a specialized camera with a single-column lens attached to a vertical joist, and […]

Researchers Find New Wasp Species with Unique Folding Fore Wings

ensign-wasp

Researchers have discovered several new species of ensign wasps from Sub-Saharan Africa and have published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE. “We didn’t know these new species existed until now, and at least two of them — Trissevania heatherae and T. mrimaensis — are found only in a small patch of forest in Kenya […]

Young Wasp Colonies are More Likely to Accept Strangers

Mischocyttarus-mexicanus

A new study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology explores how wasps accept outsiders to their colonies and whether age makes a difference. The study, by University of Miami biologist Floria Mora-Kepfer Uy, used the social wasp Mischocyttarus mexicanus to compare new colonies versus established ones, and to compare the acceptance rate of […]

Seven New Species of Nearctic Wasps Described and Illustrated

nearctic-wasps-wp

After studying specimens from the Nearctic deposited in the United States National Museum of Natural History and some specimens in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, researchers have found 16 new species of wasps from the Nearctic region, and they’ve described seven new species. The new species are described and illustrated in an article called […]

Nine New Colorful Cuckoo Wasp Species from China

chinese-wasps-feat

A new study provides seventeen records of the cuckoo wasp genus Cleptes from China, nine of which are beautifully-colored, new-to-science species. The study, published in the open-access journal ZooKeys, is the first revision of the genus from China, providing morphological data and illustrations. The revised genus belongs to the engaging cuckoo wasp family Chrysididae. As […]

Can Trained Bees Detect Cancer in Patients?

bees-vov25

Back in 2006, Science Daily ran an article about two scientists who were using wasps to detect drugs, explosives, toxic chemicals, and other substances. Five years later in 2011, Dr. Joe Lewis, a retired research entomologist at the University of Georgia in Athens, and Dr. Glen Rains, a biological and agricultural engineer, were featured in […]

Ants More Closely Related to Bees than to Most Wasps

Red_Velvet_Ant

Ants and bees are surprisingly more genetically related to each other than they are to social wasps such as yellowjackets and paper wasps, a team of University of California, Davis scientists has discovered in ground-breaking research to be published in an article called “Phylogenomics Resolves Evolutionary Relationships among Ants, Bees, and Wasps” in the journal […]