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Latest Insect Stories

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2009-12-25 07:45:00

Scientists have shown for the first time that insects, like mammals, use vision rather than touch to find footholds. They made the discovery thanks to high-speed video cameras "“ technology the BBC uses to capture its stunning wildlife footage "“ which they used to film desert locusts stepping along the rungs of a miniature ladder. The study sheds new light on insects' ability to perform complex tasks, such as visually-guided limb control, usually associated with mammals....

2009-12-23 15:55:00

Landing is tricky: hit the ground too fast and you will crash and burn; too slow and you may stall and fall. Bees manage their approach by monitoring the speed of images moving across their eyes. By slowing so that the speed of the looming landing pad's image on the retina remains constant, bees manage to control their approach. But what happens in the final few moments before touch down? And how do bees adapt to landing on surfaces ranging from the horizontal to upside-down ceilings? Flies...

2009-12-03 22:19:47

Discovery offers opportunity to develop new environmentally safe ways to control pests A team of University of Minnesota researchers have discovered how PTTH, a hormone produced by the brain, controls the metamorphosis of juvenile insects into adults. The finding, published in the Dec. 4 issue of Science, will help scientists understand how insect body size is programmed in response to developmental and environmental cues and offers the opportunity to develop a new generation of more...

2009-11-30 11:27:28

For the first time, scientists at The University of Western Ontario have shown that insects exposed to repeated periods of cold will trade reproduction for immediate survival. The study, conducted by Biology PhD candidate Katie Marshall and supervisor Brent Sinclair, has been published online Nov. 25 by the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Results showed flies exposed to multiple bouts of cold survived better, but produced fewer offspring.  Past research had...

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2009-11-25 09:10:00

Christopher Irwin Smith describes research on Joshua trees, yucca moths and the question of whether coevolution between plants and their insect pollinators produced the spectacular diversity of plants and insects Coevolution--mutual adaptation of two or more species to one another--shapes much of the natural world and produces some of the most remarkable biological phenomena, from the exceptional speed of cheetahs and gazelles, to the virulence of the HIV and swine flu viruses. The...

2009-11-23 09:40:03

Since 1996, crop plants genetically modified to produce bacterial proteins that are toxic to certain insects, yet safe for people, have been planted on more than 200 million hectares worldwide. The popularity of these Bt crops, named after the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, comes from their ability to kill some major pests, allowing farmers to save money and lessen environmental impacts by reducing insecticide sprays. However, since insects can evolve resistance to toxins, strategies must...

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2009-11-18 05:55:00

CFD visualization used at Wright State University to study the complex flow physics of dragonfly flight Most students caught hanging out in the school parking lot during class might find themselves in a bit of trouble, but for Dr. Haibo Dong's grad students, it's a study requirement.   "They've been out there all morning trying to catch a few dragonflies," he laughs. "We have a high-speed camera in the lab, but don't have any subjects to film. Catching them can be hard because...

2009-11-17 13:38:51

University of Montreal researcher studies odd insect behavior Are ladybugs being overtaken by wasps? A Universit© de Montr©al entomologist is investigating a type of wasp (Dinocampus coccinellae) present in Quebec that forces ladybugs (Coccinella maculata) to carry their larvae. These wasps lay their eggs on the ladybug's body, a common practice in the insect world, yet they don't kill their host. "What is fascinating is that the ladybug is partially paralyzed by the parasite, yet...

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2009-11-06 08:50:00

Finding could lead to new understanding of substance harmful in kidney disease and other human diseases What life form can use materials as nutrients that we, and most other animals, would consider waste products? None other than the giant cockroaches that infest sewer systems and erupt from people's bathtub drains, according to scientists Nancy Moran and Zakee Sabree of the University of Arizona, and Srinivas Kambhampati of Kansas State University. The researchers published their results in...

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2009-11-06 06:17:44

Female water striders often reject their most persistent and aggressive suitors and prefer the males who aren't so grabby, according to new research. Water striders are insects commonly seen skittering across the surface of streams. Groups of low-key male water striders mated with more females than did groups of highly sexually aggressive males, according to a study led by Omar Tonsi Eldakar of the University of Arizona's Arizona Research Laboratories. The research contradicts previous...


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
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'