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Latest Hymenoptera Stories

Ants Benefit Pitcher Plant Hosts By Hunting Nutrient Stealing Parasites
2013-05-23 10:00:53

[ Watch The Video: Movie of Camponotus Schmitzi ] Public Library of Science An insect-eating pitcher plant teams up with ants to prevent mosquito larvae from stealing its nutrients, according to research published May 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Mathias Scharmann and colleagues from the University of Cambridge and the University Brunei Darussalam. The unusual relationship between insect-eating pitcher plants and ants that live exclusively on them has long puzzled...

Crazy Ants Are Now Displacing Fire Ants
2013-05-19 07:17:20

[ Watch the Video: Rise of the Crazy Ants ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Residents of the Gulf Coast are in the midst of an invasion - an ant invasion. An invasive and ecologically dominant species of ant is reportedly displacing the native fire ant in areas throughout the southeastern US. The invasive species originates from South America and is known as Nylanderia fulva, or tawny crazy ants, according to Geoffrey Mohan of the Los Angeles Times. Normally...

Middle American Stenamma Ant's Peculiar Life History
2013-04-25 21:35:17

Pensoft Publishers Some ant species use clay 'door-pebbles' for the protection of their nest Stenamma is a cryptic "leaf-litter" ant genus that occurs in moderately humid to wet forest habitats throughout the Holarctic region, Central America, and part of northwestern South America (Colombia and Ecuador). The genus was thought to be restricted primarily to the temperate zone, but recent collecting efforts have uncovered a large variety of Neotropical forms, which rival the Holarctic...

Flower's Nectar Content Changed By Ants
2013-04-25 13:55:58

American Journal of Botany Ants foraging on nectar transmit yeasts that change sugar-chemistry and may affect subsequent pollinator visitations and plant fitness Ants play a variety of important roles in many ecosystems. As frequent visitors to flowers, they can benefit plants in their role as pollinators when they forage on sugar-rich nectar. However, a new study reveals that this mutualistic relationship may actually have some hidden costs. By transmitting sugar-eating yeasts to the...

World Of Fairyflies Has A New Representative: Tinkerbella Nana
2013-04-24 13:35:49

Pensoft Publishers Mymaridae, commonly known as fairyflies, are one of about 18 families of chalcid wasps. Fairyflies occur worldwide, except in Antarctica. They include the world's smallest known winged insect - Kikiki huna, the body length of which is only 155 μm, and the smallest known adult insect — the wingless male of Dicopomorpha echmepterygis which is only 130 μm. Although fairyflies are among the most common chalcid wasps, they are seldomly...

Ant Family Tree Highlights Importance Of Tropics
2013-04-22 13:39:39

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists currently have two prevailing theories about the high degree of biodiversity in the areas around the tropics: some believe that climate acts as a “museum,” allowing older lineages to persist through time. Others, however, see the tropics as a “cradle,” where new species are able to germinate and thrive. According to a new report in the journal Evolution, a pair of American researchers now says that...

Tracking Study Discovers Ants Change Careers As They Age
2013-04-22 09:29:39

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A single ant colony can have thousands of ants, all scurrying around performing various tasks, maintaining their territory for the queen. And because they all look alike, studying them individually by eye can prove extremely difficult, if not impossible. To bypass this obstacle, Danielle Mersch and colleagues from the University of Lausanne tagged every single worker in entire ant colonies and tracked them by computer. The...

2013-04-10 16:18:02

Scientists at The University of Manchester have found evidence of the genetic basis of the evolutionary arms-race between parasitoids and their aphid hosts. The researchers studied the reaction of aphids when a parasitic wasp with genetic variation laid eggs in them. They found that different genotypes of the wasp affected where the aphids went to die, including whether they left the plant host entirely. The team also found an example of the emergence of a shared phenotype that was partly...

Robot Ants Learn To Navigate A Maze
2013-03-29 10:50:18

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online It´s commonly known that ants navigate by scent. As each ant randomly wanders in search for food or shelter, it leaves behind a trail of pheromones which other ants will then follow. The result is that famous line of ants leading to a family picnic or a particularly sticky spill. Though this behavior has been observed for centuries, it´s something which Simon Garnier from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and...

Rare Sawfly Is Host To Peculiar Parasitoid Wasp
2013-03-25 11:28:01

Pensoft Publishers A mysterious parasitoid wasp was found in the Böhmerwald (Northeast Austria) and reared in the garden of the amateur entomologist Ewald Altenhofer of Gross Gerungs municipality, Austria. The parasitoid was identified by Kees van Achterberg, senior researcher at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, as the rare Seleucus cuneiformis. It is the first time that a tip of its biology was discovered. The study was published in the open...


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
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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