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Latest Insect Stories

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2010-04-05 14:15:00

Lions, tigers and bears top the ecological pyramid"”the diagram of the food chain that every school child knows. They eat smaller animals, feeding on energy that flows up from the base where plants convert sunlight into carbohydrates. A new study examines complex interactions in the middle of the pyramid, where birds, bats and lizards consume insects. These predators eat enough insects to indirectly benefit plants and increase their growth, Smithsonian scientists report. "Our findings...

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2010-03-31 13:33:49

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...

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2010-03-17 14:04:34

Hebrew University researchers developing 'breakfast of champions' An improved method for sustainable pest control using "super-sexed" but sterile male insects to copulate with female ones is being developed by agricultural researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The scientists thus hope to offer yet another efficient and promising avenue for supplying produce to the market by eliminating pests without damage to the environment. An assortment of chemicals, such as DDT, have been...

2010-03-04 08:10:00

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell researchers have found a protein that may lead to a new way to control mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, yellow fever and other diseases when they feed on humans: Prevent them from urinating as they feed on blood. The work may lead to the development of new insecticides to disrupt the mosquito's renal system, which contributes to a mosquito's survival after feeding on blood. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit the virus that causes dengue fever, putting 40...

2010-03-01 15:21:02

Observing the aerial maneuvers of fruit flies, Cornell University researchers have uncovered how the insects "“ when disturbed by sharp gusts of wind "“ right themselves and stay on course. Fruit flies use an automatic stabilizer reflex that helps them recover with precision from midflight stumbles, according to observations published online today (March 1, 2010) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Learning from the biological world could help the mechanical, as...

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2010-02-11 09:55:00

Any way you look at it -- by sheer weight, species diversity or population -- the hard-shelled, joint-legged creepy crawlies called arthropods dominate planet Earth. Because of their success and importance, scientists have been trying for decades to figure out the family relationships that link lobsters to millipedes and cockroaches to tarantulas and find which might have come first. In a scientific and technological tour de force that was nearly a decade in the making, a team of scientists...

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2010-02-09 14:48:44

UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal identifies the chemical source of an annoying attraction When the time came for chemical ecologist Walter Leal to test whether humans make a natural odor that attracts mosquitoes, Leal himself was the first to volunteer. "I measured my own levels," Leal said. "I thought I would set a good example. If you do it first, then others won't be scared." In truth, there was little, if any, reason to be frightened. The scientists were looking only for the...

2010-02-04 15:09:37

A study published today in Science, by researchers at Rothamsted Research (an institute of the BBSRC), the Met Office, the Natural Resources Institute, and the Universities of Exeter, Greenwich and York, sheds new light on the flight behaviors that enable insects to undertake long-distance migrations, and highlights the remarkable abilities of these insect migrants. Many insects avoid cold British winters by migrating south in autumn to over-wintering sites around the Mediterranean. Migrant...

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2010-02-04 11:25:00

Insects, a popular delicacy in many parts of the world, are getting a culinary makeover in one Central American city, where scientists are "Ëœgrowing' insects that will be tailored for human consumption. The idea for a common sustainable diet in many African cultures caught the eye of entomologist Manuel Zumbado, who began researching insects as an alternative food source. With the rainforest in mind, Costa Rica has a countless supply of insect species, which may include thousands...

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2010-01-29 09:45:00

Going about their day-to-day business, bees have no need to be able to recognize human faces. Yet in 2005, when Adrian Dyer from Monash University trained the fascinating insects to associate pictures of human faces with tasty sugar snacks, they seemed to be able to do just that. But Martin Giurfa from the Universit© de Toulouse, France, suspected that that the bees weren't learning to recognize people. 'Because the insects were rewarded with a drop of sugar when they chose human...


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
conjunto
  • A style of popular dance music originating along the border between Texas and Mexico, characterized by the use of accordion, drums, and 12-string bass guitar and traditionally based on polka, waltz, and bolero rhythms.
The word 'conjunto' comes through Spanish, from Latin coniūnctus, past participle of coniungere, to join together; see conjoin