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Latest Insect Stories

2011-06-28 14:47:47

CSIRO research has revealed that the tremendous diversity of ladybird beetle species is linked to their ability to produce larvae which, with impunity, poach members of "Ëœherds' of tiny, soft-bodied scale insects from under the noses of the aggressive ants that tend them. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of ladybird beetles (family Coccinellidae), the researchers found that the ladybirds' first major evolutionary shift was from feeding on hard-bodied ("armoured") scale...

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2011-06-27 08:31:48

About 100 million years ago, a tiny mayfly had a problem. Like most adult mayflies, she only had that one day to live anyway, so there was no time to waste. She took her mating flight, got fertilized, and was about to lay her eggs when something went horribly wrong. She got stuck in some oozing tree sap and died, preserved for all time in the magic of amber. There would be ho hatchlings. It was a pretty rude ending to what was already going to be a short adulthood. But her personal tragedy...

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2011-06-20 05:20:00

Fifty-billion dollars are spent annually around the globe on insect eradication and control. Now researchers are hoping to create targeted solutions to specific insects that do not include the killing of helpful species, reports BBC News. With the costs of genome sequencing falling substantially, it is now feasible to cheaply sequence large numbers of animals and plants. The 5000 Insect and Other Arthropod Genome Initiative will point researchers towards vulnerable regions of insects'...

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2011-06-14 09:57:28

Bees use their eyes to tell them how best to streamline their bodies for rapid flight, a world first study shows. Scientists at The Vision Centre have fooled the honeybee into revealing its flying secrets by tethering the creature and running background images past its eyes. This tricks the bee into thinking it is "Ëœflying' and it moves its body into a posture for rapid flight "“ even though both it and the air are still. The research indicates that vision is an important...

2011-06-07 00:00:32

Evergreen Research is proud to announce the launch of their new website for their line of all natural insect repelling products featuring the Superband the Bugbutton and the Mosquito Eliminator. San Marcos, California (PRWEB) June 06, 2011 Now at http://www.bugbutton.com users can easily navigate through the eye catching pages and learn more about each unique product and its uses. The new website allows users to have an opportunity to chat with Evergreen staff live and direct if they have...

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2011-05-31 09:42:19

A European research team, with Spanish participation, has described two new beetle species measuring two millimeters in length. The coleoptera (beetles) were found in streams in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees mountains (from Gipuzkoa to Girona) and in the Sierra de la Demanda mountains (Burgos). Experts had previously thought that they belonged to another European species. "These species, which have a restricted range, had been confused with another European species with a more extensive...

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2011-05-10 07:59:54

Scientists working in a laboratory at Vanderbilt University have potentially discovered a class of insect repellent that is 1000 times more effective than DEET and works against all types of insects. "It wasn't something we set out to find," said David Rinker, a graduate student who performed the study in collaboration with graduate student Gregory Pask and post-doctoral fellow Patrick Jones. "It was an anomaly that we noticed in our tests." Reported in the online edition of the Proceedings...

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2011-05-06 06:00:00

The origin and evolution of treehopper 'helmets' has been traced by developmental biologists to show that they have achieved what no other insects have done in more than 300 million years; they have developed a third set of wings, which have been modified to form the helmet. Treehoppers are small, odd-shaped relatives of cicadas and are masters of disguise. They have outgrowths called helmets that could resemble anything from seeds to thorns to caterpillar poop and even ants. The extravagant...

2011-04-20 07:10:00

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Schendel Pest Services will hold its second annual "Bed Bug Boot Camps" April 25 and April 26. These free half-day workshops were scheduled in response to the severe increase in bed bug infestations in homes and businesses throughout the Springfield and Joplin areas. According to Schendel's Bed Bug Division Manager, Mark Lillis, "These seminars are perfect for anyone facing questions or issues about bed bugs in their facility. Healthcare...

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2011-04-05 09:40:30

Firefly partners work together to find work-family balance Every parent with young children knows that couples need to work together to accomplish the myriad tasks waiting both at work and at home. But it may come as a surprise that fireflies also juggle their commitments to find a comfortable work-family balance. According to new research led by biologists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences, wingless "stay-at-home" female fireflies get less support from their mates than...


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
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'