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Latest Hymenoptera Stories

2009-09-16 06:11:33

San Antonio is trying to deal with a tiny invader that can cause big problems, the crazy ant. A few colonies of crazy ants have been found in one section of the city, the San Antonio Express News reports. They probably arrived from Houston, where they have been established for about 10 years, possibly brought in on plants. Unlike fire ants, crazy ants do not bite or sting, experts say. What they do is multiply to the point where their colonies have millions or billions of ants. They...

2009-09-10 08:35:00

Bee colonies are well known for high levels of cooperation, but new research published in Molecular Ecology demonstrates a conflict for reproduction between worker bees and their queens, leading some workers to selfishly exploit the colony for their own needs. The study focused on Melipona scutellaris a Brazilian species of highly social stingless bees, found throughout the Atlantic rainforest. Colonies contain around 1,500 workers and are headed by one single-mated Queen. Denise Alves, Dr...

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2009-09-02 23:55:00

First evidence of multiple tool use suggests 'sustainable' food-harvesting techniques Chimpanzees in the Congo have developed specialized 'tool kits' to forage for army ants, reveals new research published today in the American Journal of Primatology. This not only provides the first direct evidence of multiple tool use in this context, but suggests that chimpanzees have developed a 'sustainable' way of harvesting food. A team from the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, led by Dr Crickette Sanz,...

2009-08-11 14:30:47

A study in the September issue of The American Naturalist describes new details about a fungal parasite that coerces ants into dying in just the right spot"”one that is ideal for the fungus to grow and reproduce. The study, led David P. Hughes of Harvard University, shows just how precisely the fungus manipulates the behavior of its hapless hosts.When a carpenter ant is infected by a fungus known as Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the victim remains alive for a short time. The fungus,...

2009-08-06 13:39:21

Orchids are famous for their deceptions. Most of those with nothing of value to offer their pollinators lure them instead with the scents of more rewarding flowers or potential mates. Now, a report published online on August 6th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, reveals for the first time that a species of orchid, which lives on the Chinese island of Hainan, fools its hornet pollinator by issuing a chemical that honeybees use to send an alarm.The discovery explains why the...

2009-08-04 09:51:37

Chemicals camouflage bugs, pitcher plant colors don't help attract prey, specialist caterpillars survive better than generalistsAnimals and plants communicate with one another in a variety of ways: behavior, body patterns, and even chemistry. In a series of talks at the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting, to be held August 3-7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, ecologists explore the myriad adaptations for exchanging information among living things.Bugs pretending to be ants are...

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2009-07-24 14:03:54

University researchers suggest that ants can accomplish a task more rationally than humans. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that people are "stupider" than ants, according to the research teams from Arizona State University and Princeton University. Study leaders Stephen Pratt and Susan Edwards say that humans and animals simply often make irrational choices when faced with very challenging decisions. Pratt wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences that...

2009-07-21 12:55:03

A switch from annual to multiyear colonies and a willingness to feed just about any prey to their young have allowed invasive yellowjacket wasps to disrupt native populations of insects and spiders on two Hawaiian islands, a new study has found.By analyzing the DNA from bits of prey snatched from foragers returning to nests, ecologists from the University of California, San Diego, found that introduced yellowjacket wasps kill or scavenge prey from 14 different taxonomic orders of animals,...

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2009-07-05 09:45:00

Japanese honeybees use heat and carbon dioxide to kill their natural predator, the giant hornet.The bees form a "bee ball" in order to smother the predator, and kill the hornets within 10 minutes of their capture within the ball.Japanese hornets feast on the honeybee's nests and can consume their larvae.According to research, which appears in the journal Naturwissenschaften, if bees spot the attacker in time, they can stop them with their powerful "bee ball" defense.Although, researchers...

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2009-07-02 14:50:00

Researchers have discovered a massive invasion of Argentine ants that have spread across continents with the help of human influence. What's more, the billions of ants that originated in South America appear to belong to the same colony, according to a team of researchers in Japan and Spain led by Eiriki Sunamura of the University of Tokyo. Researchers noted that the ants roaming across Europe, Japan and California appear to have similar chemical profiles of hydrocarbons on their cuticles,...


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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