Butterfly Color Patterns Reveal Clues About the Genes That Build Insect Wings

painted lady butterfly

By Viviane Callier Butterfly wings are natural canvases decorated with elaborate color patterns, but how these patterns develop and evolve is still incompletely understood. Now, a new study in Scientific Reports has identified the genetic code by which butterflies can assign color patterns to different parts of their wings during development. The code is based […]

Planthopper Wing Shape Controlled by Two Insulin Receptors

By Viviane Callier Insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose in humans, is also produced by insects and, according to a study published in Nature, two different insulin receptors convey cues that enable some insects to predict their future environments and to develop functionally-appropriate wings. Some larval insects have the difficult task of predicting the […]

Insects Were First Animals to Develop Wings More than 400 Million Years Ago

An international team of more than 100 researchers has published the first modern road map of insect evolution. Understanding how insects are related, which until now has remained largely unknown, uncovers their true ecological, economic, and medical importance. The results, appearing in a recent issue of Science, reconstruct the insect “tree of life” and answer […]