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Latest Insect Stories

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2010-07-23 08:00:17

"Weird movements" in the abdomens of freely crawling caterpillars are making headlines in the fields of engineering and biology, says Jake Socha, Virginia Tech assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics. Beyond evolutionary implications, the findings are already contributing to the design and development of soft material robots. The work of an interdisciplinary research team, including Socha, lead author Michael Simon of Tufts University's Department of Biology, and senior...

2010-07-20 14:34:13

What can you learn from the 120 year-old body of a parasitoid wasp? Using material from museum collections, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology report that they can tell how males wasps court their females, based on dead specimens. Parasitoid wasps are one of the most abundant groups of organisms on the planet. Their diversity makes it very hard to study behaviors across many species. Seraina Klopfstein from the Natural History Museum of Bern, Switzerland,...

2010-07-16 14:14:46

In the battle between insect predators and their prey, chemical signals called kairomones serve as an early-warning system. Pervasively emitted by the predators, the compounds are detected by their prey, and can even trigger adaptations, such a change in body size or armor, that help protect the prey. But as widespread as kairomones are in the insect world, their chemical identity has remained largely unknown. New research by Rockefeller University's Joel E. Cohen and colleagues at the...

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2010-07-01 07:04:46

There really is a balance of nature, but as accepted as that thought is, it has rarely been studied. Now Washington State University researchers writing in the journal Nature have found that more balanced animal and plant communities typical of organic farms work better at fighting pests and growing a better plant. The researchers looked at insect pests and their natural enemies in potatoes and found organic crops had more balanced insect populations in which no one species of insect has a...

2010-06-24 16:24:20

A laboratory milling device for improving stored grain management has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and an industry cooperator. The system, called the "insect-o-graph," can detect internal insects in wheat that are not visible to the eye or that cannot be detected by usual grading methods. The device, built by National Manufacturing, Inc. (NMI), of Lincoln, Neb., was based on ARS-developed technology. ARS engineers Tom Pearson and Dan Brabec, in the...

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2010-06-23 10:37:44

With bed bugs reemerging as a nuisance in some parts of the country, scientists are reporting the first preliminary description of the bug's sialome "” the saliva proteins that are the secret to Cimex lectularius' ability to suck blood from its human victims and escape to bite again with risking a lethal slap. The findings, which could have medical applications in diagnosing bed bug bites and preventing the itch, appear in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research. In the report, Jose...

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2010-06-21 10:21:49

Researchers look for small control organism "The small size of an alien insect that feeds on a native tree from the western Pacific island of Guam allows it to hide in cracks and other locations that are out of reach for its only local natural enemy," said UOG entomologist Aubrey Moore. Moore has teamed up with UOG ecologist Thomas Marler to study the relationship between the native cycad tree, known as "fadang" in the Chamorro language, and a minute alien insect pest called cycad aulacaspis...

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2010-06-13 07:40:05

Insects may have tiny brains the size of a pinhead, but the latest research from the University of Adelaide shows just how clever they really are. For the first time, researchers from the University's Discipline of Physiology have worked out how insects judge the speed of moving objects. It appears that insect brain cells have additional mechanisms which can calculate how to make a controlled landing on a flower or reach a food source. This ability only works in a natural setting. In a paper...

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2010-06-09 09:45:52

Moth also triggers the plants into increased frequency of reproduction When a plant endemic to several islands in the Western Pacific Ocean taps the services of a helpful insect, a double-dose of benefits comes its way. The plant is a member of a unique group of plants known as cycads, which produce their seeds in cones rather than within fruits. The insect is a tiny moth currently known to exist only on the islands of Guam and Rota. The insect's primary role is to ensure seed production...

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2010-05-20 11:08:50

Scientists in Brazil are reporting for the first time that coffee beans contain proteins that can kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food crops against destructive pests. Their study, which suggests a new use for one of the most important tropical crops in the world, appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication. Peas, beans and some other plant seeds contain proteins, called globulins, which ward off insects. Coffee...


Latest Insect Reference Libraries

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...

Giant Centipede, Ethmostigmus rubripes
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: I took this picture myself on 7th March, 2007. John E. Hill 04:23, 7 March 2007 (UTC) Specimen caught by Jim Symes in Laura, Queensland. It measures over 16 cm from its' head to the end of its' body and is the largest recorded specimen of this species so far. John E. Hill 11:12, 22 March 2007 (UTC). Credit: John E. Hill/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) The giant centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes) can be found in Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, China, Southeast Asia, and the...

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Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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