In Enemy Garb: A New Explanation for Wasp Mimicry

wasp and moth mimics

By Michael Boppré, Ph.D. A yellow-black insect at the coffee table—”Help, a wasp!” But, often, it is just an innocent hover fly, unable to sting. It is hard for us to separate these very similar looking insects. In school we learn that many hover flies (and other insects) imitate wasps to be protected from predators […]

Here’s How Homeowners Can Avoid Problems with Wasps

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

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

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

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 […]