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Latest Hymenoptera Stories

2010-08-02 17:01:27

Mate selection, foraging and defense mechanisms explored at ESA's Annual Meeting In this time of global change, understanding the basics of animal behavior and environmental interactions is just as important as predicting and planning for widespread impacts. Ecological scientists will assess the fundamentals of animal behavior"”such as plant toxin detection in bushbaby foraging"”and current adaptations to global change"”like defense mechanisms of native lizards to red...

2010-07-20 14:34:13

What can you learn from the 120 year-old body of a parasitoid wasp? Using material from museum collections, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology report that they can tell how males wasps court their females, based on dead specimens. Parasitoid wasps are one of the most abundant groups of organisms on the planet. Their diversity makes it very hard to study behaviors across many species. Seraina Klopfstein from the Natural History Museum of Bern, Switzerland,...

2010-06-16 13:55:47

The world's oldest known example of a fig wasp has been found on the Isle of Wight. The fossil wasp is almost identical to the modern species, proving that this tiny but specialized insect has remained virtually unchanged for over 34 million years. The fossil isn't a new find but was wrongly identified as an ant when it was first discovered in the 1920s. Fig wasp expert at the University of Leeds, Dr Steve Compton, was called in to study the fossil when the late Dr Mikhail Kozlov spotted the...

2010-06-14 08:37:00

ATLANTA, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- For many families, summer means pool parties and backyard barbeques. But where there is fun for kids, there are safety concerns for parents - like how to prevent sunburn, poolside accidents or insect bites and stings. According to Atlanta-based pest control leader Orkin, while most summer bugs like June beetles are just nuisances, summer bees, wasps and mosquitoes - and their stings or bites - can cause serious health issues. In fact, while most insect...

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2010-05-20 07:56:15

Social status in paper wasps is established earlier in life than scientists thought, says a study published this month in the journal PLoS ONE. While many social insects have distinct social classes that differ in appearance and are fixed from birth, paper wasp society is more fluid "” all castes look alike, and any female can climb the social ladder and become a queen. Now, molecular analysis reveals that paper wasp social hierarchy is less flexible than it appears. Queens diverge from...

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2010-05-04 12:10:00

Scientists from the US, Turkey, Switzerland and Iran describe the nest of an uncommon solitary bee In a rare coincidence, researchers working in both Turkey and Iran discovered on the same day how a rare species of bee builds its underground nests. The females from the solitary species Osima (Ozbekosima) avoseta line the nest's brood chambers with petals of pink, yellow, blue, and purple flowers. The chambers provide nutrients for the larvae to grow and mature and protect the next generation...

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2010-04-27 12:23:04

They are both nest-building social insects, but paper wasps and honey bees organize their colonies in very different ways. In a new study, researchers report that despite their differences, these insects rely on the same network of genes to guide their social behavior. The study appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Honey bees and paper wasps are separated by more than 100 million years of evolution, and there are striking differences in how they divvy up the...

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2010-04-05 14:15:00

Lions, tigers and bears top the ecological pyramid"”the diagram of the food chain that every school child knows. They eat smaller animals, feeding on energy that flows up from the base where plants convert sunlight into carbohydrates. A new study examines complex interactions in the middle of the pyramid, where birds, bats and lizards consume insects. These predators eat enough insects to indirectly benefit plants and increase their growth, Smithsonian scientists report. "Our findings...

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2010-03-30 14:05:00

One of the most common house ant species might have been built for living in some of the smallest spaces in a forest, but the ants have found ways to take advantage of the comforts of city living. Grzegorz Buczkowski, a Purdue University research assistant professor of entomology, found that odorous house ant colonies become larger and more complex as they move from forest to city and act somewhat like an invasive species. The ants live about 50 to a colony with one queen in forest settings...

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2010-03-24 08:29:17

Who's in charge? Who's got food? The brain region responsible for learning and memory is bigger in social bee queens who may have to address these questions than in solitary queens, report scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute who study the tropical sweat bee species, Megalopta genalis in Panama. Their study is the first comparison of the brain sizes of social and non-social individuals of the same species. "The idea is that to maintain power and control in groups you need...


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...

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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...

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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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