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2010-09-16 07:32:00

Air Force Office of Scientific Research-sponsored researcher, Dr. Robert Wood of Harvard University is leading the way in what could become the next phase of high-performance micro air vehicles for the Air Force. His basic research is on track to evolve into robotic, insect-scale devices for monitoring and exploration of hazardous environments, such as collapsed structures, caves and chemical spills. "We are developing a suite of capabilities which we hope will lead to MAVs that exceed the...

2010-09-14 11:40:00

VENTURA, Calif., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- As the bed bug epidemic continues to strengthen its grip on North America, ThermaPure®, (www.thermapure.com) the industry pioneer that developed the heat treatment process currently being used to effectively kill the blood-sucking pests and their eggs, has been awarded another patent from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (US 7,690,148 B2 - Hedman, issued April 6, 2010). "This is a really exciting new patent because it...

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2010-08-25 10:35:00

Flies follow horizontal edges to regulate altitude, says a team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). This finding contradicts a previous model, which posited that insects adjust their height by visually measuring the motion beneath them as they fly. This mechanism for controlling altitude"”in which the insects use their eyes to track horizontal edges in their environment"”is very similar to the strategy insects use to steer left and right, the...

2010-08-09 17:42:35

When plant-eating mammals such as goats chomp on a sprig of alfalfa, they could easily gobble up some extra protein in the form of insects that happen to get in their way. But a new report in the August 10th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, shows that plant-dwelling pea aphids have a strategy designed to help them avoid that dismal fate: The insects sense mammalian breath and simply drop to the ground. "Tiny insects like aphids are not helpless when facing large animals...

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2010-08-06 06:30:00

One of North America's most common bat species faces extinction in the northeastern U.S. within the next two decades due to a rapidly spreading disease known as White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), according to a new study led by researchers at the Boston University College of Arts & Sciences. The threatened bats, known as little brown myotis, are critical in controlling insects that spread disease to humans and animals.  The bats have been known to consume their own weight in insects in a...

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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...


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
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.