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Latest Hymenoptera Stories

2011-12-12 21:32:55

No laggards, those bees and plants. As warm temperatures due to climate change encroach winter, bees and plants keep pace. An analysis of bee collection data over the past 130 years shows that spring arrives about 10 days earlier than in the 1880s, and bees and flowering plants have kept pace by arriving earlier in lock-step. The study also found that most of this shift has occurred since 1970, when the change in mean annual temperature has increased most rapidly, according to Bryan...

2011-12-01 19:06:40

Researchers have confirmed a unique behavior within the male population of tiny fig wasps that pollinate fig trees — they team up to help pregnant females, even if they have not mated themselves. Published online in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the study confirms that placid male pollinator fig wasps work together to chew an escape tunnel for their females, before crawling back into the fig to die - the non-pollinating variety are too busy fighting each other to help....

2011-12-01 18:45:56

A co-evolutionary arms race exists between social insects and their parasites. Army ants (Leptogenys distinguenda) share their nests with several parasites such as beetles, snails and spiders. They also share their food with the kleptoparasitic silverfish (Malayatelura ponerophila). New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology shows that the silverfish manage to hide amongst the ants by covering themselves in the ant's chemical scent. Myrmecophilous...

Communal Living Of The Insect Kind
2011-11-17 04:20:02

The social lives of ants, wasps and bees have long been a puzzle to scientists. How did complex insect societies – colonies ruled by a queen and many workers – come to be? A new model adds to discontent with old ideas. Social insect society is divided into specialized castes that take on different roles within the nest. Most of the members of a colony — the workers — forego their own chance for reproduction and instead spend their lives raising offspring that aren't...

Image 1 - Misleading Morphology
2011-10-27 04:35:18

3 European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just 1 Three widely differing forms of European Scambus parasitoid wasps that had previously been regarded as distinct species are shown to be seasonal morphs of a single species. The collaboration involved National Museums Scotland (Mark Shaw), a private individual (Malcolm Jennings) and Imperial College London + Natural History Museum (Donald Quicke). It was published in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research. The...

Mob Tactics Help Vicious Queen Ants To Reach The Top
2011-09-30 04:21:30

Leptothorax acervorum ants live all over the Northern hemisphere, but their reproductive strategy depends on habitat. Colonies are polygynous (more than one queen) in the forest of Siberia and central Europe, but functionally monogynous (only one queen reproduces) on sun-exposed slopes in Alaska, Hokkaido and the mountains of central Spain. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology demonstrates that when a colony is functionally monogynous not only do queen...

2011-09-21 20:00:38

Scientists are reporting deep new insights into whys and hows of the famous caste system that dominates honey bee societies, with a select few bee larvae destined for royalty and the masses for worker status. Their study probing the innermost biological makings of queen bees and worker bees appears in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research. Jianke Li and colleagues (The joint work of scientists from China and Ethiopia) note that despite more than a century of research, mysteries remain about...

Image 1 - Developmental Differences Controlled By Rapidly Evolving Genes
2011-09-19 10:15:28

  Genes essential to producing the developmental differences displayed by social insects evolve more rapidly than genes governing other aspects of organismal function, a new study has found. All species of life are able to develop in different ways by varying the genes they express, ultimately becoming different shapes, sizes, colors and sexes. This plasticity permits organisms to operate successfully in their environments. A new study of the genomes of social insects provides...

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2011-09-14 23:01:10

New UA research has discovered that seed beetles from the desert Southwest shelter their broods from attacking parasitic wasps under a stack of dummy eggs They lead modest lives among the palo verde, mesquite and acacia trees throughout the Southwestern U.S., laying their eggs on seed pods and defending the survival of their offspring against the parasitic wasp species that attacks their eggs before their young can develop. They are the seed beetles Mimosestes amicus, living all around...


Latest Hymenoptera Reference Libraries

Jack Jumper Ant, Myrmecia pilosula
2013-07-10 13:00:54

The jack jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula), known by other names including the jumping jack or hopper ant, is a species of bull ant that can be found in Australia. Its range includes Tasmania, New South Wales, and rural areas of Victoria. This species is unique in that its genome only holds on set of chromosomes, which is the lowest number of chromosomes that any animal can hold. Like other bull ants, this species can build nests under rocks or under dirt mounds. The jack jumper reaches an...

Inchman, Myrmecia forficate
2013-07-10 12:28:46

The inchman (Myrmecia forficate) is a species of bull ant that can be found in Australia, in a range that includes Tasmania and possibly southeastern areas of Australia. This species is gregarious, living in colonies like most other ant species, but it forages for food alone. Nests often go unseen and are typically found under rocks.  It reaches an average body length of up to one inch long, the trait from which it received its common name. The inchman is both a scavenger and a...

0_1b176b063c37655d81f4ab248352d3de
2005-09-12 11:56:41

A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is not a bee, sawfly, or an ant. The less familiar suborder Symphyta includes the sawflies and wood wasps, which differ from the Apocrita by having a broad connection between the thorax and abdomen. Also, Symphyta larvae are mostly herbivorous and "caterpillarlike", whereas those of Apocrita are largely predatory or parasitic. Most familiar wasps belong to the Aculeata, a division of the Apocrita whose ovipositors are...

40_7105f67ef0ac80eaa97446c6b40c0af0
2005-09-09 09:51:50

The Bombyliids are a large family of flies with hundreds of genera. Their life cycles are not well known. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, thus are pollinators of flowers. They superficially resemble bees, thus are commonly called bee flies, and this may offer the adults some protection from predators. The larval stage are predators or parasitoids of other insect eggs and larvae. The adult females usually deposit eggs in the vicinity of possible hosts, quite often in the burrows...

0_883369ca3027116bc769a5aa2feb2314
2005-09-09 09:43:40

The bumblebee is a flying insect of the genus Bombus in the family Apidae and a relative of the common honeybee. The bumblebee feeds on nectar and gathers pollen to feed its young. They are beneficial to humans and the plant world alike, and tend to be larger than other members of the bee family. Most bumblebee species are gentle. From this comes their original name: "Humblebee". Bumblebees are social insects that are known for their black and yellow striped bodies, a commonality among the...

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Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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