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Latest Insect Stories

Predator Prey Relationship In Insects And Plants Drives Evolution
2012-10-05 09:30:39

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Economists know that the consumer's taste drives variety and innovation in almost every field of industry. It is the same in the natural world. An international team of researchers has determined that just as consumers' diverse food preferences give rise to varied menu offerings, the preferences of plant-eating insects' play a role in maintaining and shaping the genetic variation of their host plants in a geographic area. The new...

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2012-09-10 20:21:14

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online As companies continue to pump out smartphone-controlled devices like the Ar.Drone 2.0, one set of researchers has taken things a step further with a remote controllable cockroach. North Carolina State University researchers have developed a system that uses an electronic interface to steer cockroaches. The team said that their goal was to determine whether they were able to create a wireless biological interface to control the...

Multi-Colored Stick Bug Discovered In Philippines
2012-09-04 14:24:33

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Scientists have discovered a new stick insect living in the Philippines that spends its days on the ground, rather than in trees. The new wingless species is colored with blues, greens, tans, and some orange around the joints along its back. This six-legged creature, Conlephasma enigma, was discovered by Marco Gottardo, a scientist from University of Siena, Italy and Phillipp Heller from Switzerland. It was found on the third...

Mustard Evolved To Give Predators An Unpleasantly Spicy Meal
2012-08-31 13:01:11

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Many plants have developed spicy mechanisms that deter pests from munching on them. Mustard plants, in particular, have evolved their pungent flavor to effectively target and deter specific predators, according to a new study published this week in the journal Science. Researchers from Duke University, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany and the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign looked at the...

Frozen In Time: Oldest Insects Found Encased In Amber
2012-08-28 09:24:54

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Three tiny ancient insects have been found trapped in amber. These well-preserved specimens are encased in what is likely Earth's oldest bug trap. They were found in Italy, and though it sounds like something out of the plot of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, it isn't. These bugs are much older than that. They are about 230 million years old, which puts them in the Triassic period, and about 100 million years older than what had...

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2012-08-25 09:23:47

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online While many scientists believe that there is a link between sunbathing and skin cancer in humans, some bugs could actually benefit from prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays, scientists from one prominent Canadian university claim in a recent study. According to BBC Nature Reporter Ella Davies, researchers from Simon Fraser University (SFU) studied Western Boxelder bugs, which release pungent chemicals when they group...

One Extinction Leads To Another
2012-08-20 10:09:46

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online According to new research, when a carnivore becomes extinct, other predatory species could soon tag along. Other scientists have previously submitted this theory, but a University of Exeter team has now carried out the first experimentation to authenticate it. According to lead researcher Dr Frank van Veen of the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation, "Our experiment provides the first proof of something that...

European Paper Wasp Never Cries Wolf
2012-08-20 07:13:34

European paper wasps (Polistes dominula) advertise the size of their poison glands to potential predators, finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology. The brighter the color, the larger the poison gland. Aposematism is used by many different animals to warn potential predators that they are poisonous. Usually this takes the form of distinctive coloration or patterns which predators quickly learn to avoid. Paper wasps have conspicuous yellow and...

Farm Productivity Supported From Wild Pollinators
2012-08-17 09:45:10

Most people are not aware of the fact that 84% of the European crops are partially or entirely dependent on insect pollination. While managed honeybees pollinate certain crops, wild bees, flies and wasps cover a very broad spectrum of plants, and thus are considered the most important pollinators in Europe. The serious decline in the number of managed honeybees and wild bees reported in Europe over the last few decades has the potential to cause yield decreases with threats to the...


Latest Insect Reference Libraries

Leaf Insects, Phylliidae
2014-08-05 10:01:39

Phylliidae is a family of insects most commonly known as leaf insects or walking leaves, which can be found in Southeast Asia and South Asia to Australia. Although it is classified as a family, there is no general agreement on its classification, as many suggest that the family is actually a large taxon that should contain separate families of leaf insects. It is thought that this family has changed little over long periods of time, due to fossil evidence found of a forty-seven million year...

Tetragnatha extensa
2013-10-09 13:17:36

Tetragnatha extensa is a species of spider found across the Northern Hemisphere. It has an elongate body, up to .43 inches long, and assumes a straight line posture when it is alarmed. It lives on low vegetation in damp areas and consumes flying insects which it catches in its web. This spider has a stretched out, cream colored body. The males are smaller than the females at around .35 inches body length, compared to .43 inches in the females. The four pairs of legs are long and a dark...

Yellow-tipped Tigertail, Choristhemis flavoterminata
2013-07-30 13:52:06

The yellow-tipped tigertail (Choristhemis flavoterminata) is species of dragonfly that is native to Queensland, Australia. This species prefers to reside in warm, moist habitats near bodies of water like rivers. The yellow-tipped tigertail reaches an average body length of 1.8 inches and holds a long, thin abdomen. The end of the body holds a bright yellow spot and the wings are light brown in color with a brown spot. Larvae are described as slightly hairy and are light brown or gray in...

Wandering Glider, Pantala flavescens
2013-07-24 12:28:15

The wandering glider (Pantala flavescens), also known as the globe skimmer, is a species of dragonfly that can be found in a large range that includes Easter Island and Europe, although it is rare here, but it typically occurs in tropical and subtropical areas as well as cooler areas like Northern Canada, depending upon the season. This species has been recorded flying at heights of 20,341 feet in the Himalayas, higher than any other dragonfly species. The wandering glider reaches an...

Gray Sanddragon, Progomphus borealis
2013-07-11 13:32:30

The gray sanddragon (Progomphus borealis) is a species of dragonfly that can be found in many areas including Arizona, California, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This species prefers a habitat near streams and rivers in desert climates. It is typically seen between the months of June and September, but it can also be seen between April and October. Adult gray sanddragons reach an average body length between 2.2 and 2.4 inches, while its nymphs or larvae...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'