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Latest Hymenoptera Stories

79304a4b2d6ad89682aaf7909fec6f871
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...

f483c6b929722da1afaac53677c36944
2010-03-09 11:05:56

Desert ants perceive odor maps in stereo and use this information for navigation Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena have investigated another navigational skill of desert ants. These ants are already well-known for their remarkable visual orientation: they use a sun compass along with a step counter and visible landmarks to locate their nest after foraging for food. After the research team from Jena recently discovered that these ants also use olfactory cues...

b4c37b351ffa987bbe020f5a0b1843f01
2010-02-18 09:25:13

Research on why early termite offspring remained home with their parents, instead of leaving to create their own colonies, could provide a missing link to the evolution of sterility among social insects Natural selection argues for small biological changes that yield greater chances of survival and successful reproduction. Yet, that process does not square well with the evolution of social insects, particularly when their colonies can have over a million non-reproductive members. A new study...

4a2e9a6ee0df813d931188df4a1009651
2010-01-29 09:45:00

Going about their day-to-day business, bees have no need to be able to recognize human faces. Yet in 2005, when Adrian Dyer from Monash University trained the fascinating insects to associate pictures of human faces with tasty sugar snacks, they seemed to be able to do just that. But Martin Giurfa from the Universit© de Toulouse, France, suspected that that the bees weren't learning to recognize people. 'Because the insects were rewarded with a drop of sugar when they chose human...

36b2ff79dcf758a072a9230f53d117021
2010-01-15 09:04:30

Figs and the wasps that pollinate them present one of biologists' favorite examples of a beneficial relationship between two different species. In exchange for the pollination service provided by the wasp, the fig fruit provides room and board for the wasp's developing young. However, wasps do not always pollinate the fig. Fig trees "punish" these "cheaters" by dropping unpollinated fruit, killing the wasp's offspring inside, report researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research...

2009-12-23 15:55:00

Landing is tricky: hit the ground too fast and you will crash and burn; too slow and you may stall and fall. Bees manage their approach by monitoring the speed of images moving across their eyes. By slowing so that the speed of the looming landing pad's image on the retina remains constant, bees manage to control their approach. But what happens in the final few moments before touch down? And how do bees adapt to landing on surfaces ranging from the horizontal to upside-down ceilings? Flies...

2009-12-01 14:19:18

Broadly speaking, ants have two different feeding strategies. A large proportion of all species are "carnivorous," meaning that they are generalist predators feeding on other small animals or scavenging on their remains. Some, however, are "herbivorous". This is not to say that they only eat plants; rather, the bulk of their diets consist of plant-derived matter. For example, some forage on sticky fluids produced by plants to attract ants, called extra-floral nectar; others feed on the...

406cac3d60b2c9936d6e993dda6308ec1
2009-11-18 07:36:18

Student field crews study the ecological power of ants in Central America under the guidance of biologist John Longino "This work will be physically demanding. You will need to carry bulky sampling supplies into rugged terrain. Some sites may be swelteringly hot, others cold and rainy. You will need to move off trails into dense forested habitats. Long hikes may be required ... There will be mud and mosquitoes." Although a hard-labor camp could be a reasonable match for that description, in...

ef53794ed13abf449055dd760c7b343e
2009-10-06 08:10:00

Evolution of sterility potentially explained among social insects Staying at home may have given the very first termite youngsters the best opportunity to rule the colony when their parents were killed by their neighbors. This is according to new research supported by the National Science Foundation and published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers say the incentive to remain home with siblings and inherit the parents' estate could be the missing link to...

25b75c98add89169d5d0b08689723f301
2009-09-26 09:48:15

In the never-ending battle to protect computer networks from intruders, security experts are deploying a new defense modeled after one of nature's hardiest creatures "” the ant. Unlike traditional security devices, which are static, these "digital ants" wander through computer networks looking for threats, such as "computer worms" "” self-replicating programs designed to steal information or facilitate unauthorized use of machines. When a digital ant detects a threat, it doesn't...


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
drawcansir
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.
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