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Latest Insect Stories

Asymmetric Warfare Between Earwigs Probed By Researchers
2012-08-16 07:07:24

Symmetrical looks are highly prized in the animal kingdom, but according to a new report by San Francisco State University biologists on an insect called the maritime earwig, asymmetry might come with its own perks. Animals–including humans–seem to use symmetry as a shortcut for evaluating potential mates. Symmetrical features usually indicate normal development, while asymmetry could point to an underlying developmental defect that would render a mate less fit. "The...

2012-08-04 02:26:14

Predatory beetles can detect the unique alarm signal released by ants that are under attack by parasitic flies, and the beetles use those overheard conversations to guide their search for safe egg-laying sites on coffee bushes. Azteca instabilis ants patrol coffee bushes and emit chemical alarm signals when they're under attack by phorid flies. In an article published online July 27 in the journal Ecology and Evolution, University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues show that...

2012-08-01 23:06:21

Insects learn faster when they are rewarded with nectar Butterflies learn faster when a flower is rewarding than when it is not, and females have the edge over males when it comes to speed of learning with rewards. These are the findings of a new study, by Dr. Ikuo Kandori and Takafumi Yamaki from Kinki University in Japan. Their work, published online in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften - The Science of Nature, is the first to investigate and compare the speed at which insects learn...

Insects Aren't Bugged By Summer Heat
2012-07-25 14:40:11

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The summertime heat may bug humans, but America´s insect population can´t get enough of it. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), this year´s record high temperatures have brought the bugs out from the woodwork as pests such as ants, fleas, ticks and black widow and brown recluse spiders are increasing. The heat is causing a greater number of insects to come out early in the day to eat and...

Caterpillar Gets The Most From Food When Predator Is On The Hunt
2012-07-13 13:37:15

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While other animals beef up metabolism and stop growing or developing during a defensive period, hornworm caterpillars slow or stop eating but actually keep up their weight and develop a little faster in the short term. Hornworm caterpillars ate 30 percent to 40 percent less when threatened by stink bugs but weighed the same as their non-threatened counterparts as indicated by Ian Kaplan, a Purdue University assistant professor of...

Pests Are Adapting To GM Crops In Unexpected Ways
2012-06-21 05:12:02

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com Modern science is no match for Mother Nature when it comes to agriculture, a new research paper has revealed. The report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a team of scientists, showed that pests are adapting faster than expected to the genetically modified (GM) crops that have been altered to repel them. Many GM crops were originally created to reduce the amount of pesticides used to repel the insects and larvae that...

2012-06-18 10:41:42

The water boatman's unique propulsion system was studied by researchers from China Superhydrophobicity is one of most important interfacial properties between solids and liquids. SHI Yanlong and his group from the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Key laboratory of Hexi Corridor Resources Utilization of Gansu Universities, Hexi University investigated the superhydrophobicity of the water boatman's hind wings. The study showed that superhydrophobicity plays a crucial role in...

2012-06-12 11:48:47

Insects can use plants as ℠green phones´ for communication with other bugs. A new study now shows that through those same plants insects are also able to leave ℠voicemail´ messages in the soil. Herbivorous insects store their voicemails via their effects on soil fungi. Researchers from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen University (WUR) discovered this unique messaging service in the ragwort plant. The influential journal Ecology Letters will...

Male Virgin Moths Think They're Hot When They're Not
2012-06-07 09:12:58

Female sex odor makes cool males take flight too soon Talk about throwing yourself into a relationship too soon. A University of Utah study found that when a virgin male moth gets a whiff of female sex attractant, he's quicker to start shivering to warm up his flight muscles, and then takes off prematurely when he's still too cool for powerful flight. So his headlong rush to reach the female first may cost him the race. The study illustrates the tradeoff between being quick to start...

Cockroaches And Lizards Use Ninja-like Skills To Quickly Vanish
2012-06-07 08:45:36

[ Watch the Video ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com Cockroaches performing ninja-like acrobatics surprised University of California, Berkeley biologists who were studying the insect´s locomotion and escape abilities. Graduate student Jean-Michel Mongeau and his colleagues first identified the amazing behavior while studying how roaches´ use their antennae to sense gaps and maneuver across them. "As we made the gap wider, they would end up on the underside of the ramp,"...


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
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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