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Latest Hymenoptera Stories

2010-09-27 17:25:27

Nectar production in lima beans depends on light quality Flowering plants produce nectar to attract insect pollinators. Some plant species, such as Lima bean, also secrete nectar from so-called extrafloral nectaries to attract ants which in turn fend off herbivores. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, have discovered that the production of extrafloral nectar is light dependent. They have shown that the plants are able not only to distinguish between day and night, but...

2010-09-21 21:55:09

In the complex world of ant-plant partnerships, serial monogamy can help trees maximize their evolutionary fitness, a new University of Florida study shows. Trees that sequentially partner with multi-species sets of ants produce more offspring than trees that maintain a lifelong association with any single ant "” even when those sets include ant species that appear to harm the tree, said Todd Palmer, a UF biology professor. The study has broad implications because many of the world's...

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2010-09-03 06:25:00

A species of acacia tree in Eastern Africa seems to be protected from elephants by ants, according to new research from scientists at the Universities of Wyoming and Florida. The researchers conducted a series of studies in Kenya, and found that the acacia trees in areas heavily trafficked by elephants simply get pummeled without protection from their tiny ant bodyguards. "It really is a David-and-Goliath type of story, where these little ants are up against these huge herbivores, protecting...

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2010-08-27 06:45:00

Research may help unlock the mysteries of human aging and behaviorScientists have finally sequenced the entire genome of an ant, actually two very different species of ant, and the insights gleaned from their genetic blueprints are already yielding tantalizing clues to the extraordinary social behavior of ants.A result of a ground-breaking collaborative research project led by Danny Reinberg, PhD, professor of biochemistry at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute...

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...


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...

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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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Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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