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Latest Insect Stories

2009-09-24 09:15:29

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-funded research, published this week in Chemical Communication, describes how scientists have discovered molecules that could confuse insects' ability to detect plants by interfering with their sense of smell. This could reduce damage to crops by insect pests and contribute to food security. Lead researcher Dr Antony Hooper of Rothamsted Research, an institute of BBSRC said: "One way in which insects find each other and their...

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2009-09-18 07:10:00

Modeling the aerodynamic secrets of one of Nature's most efficient flyers Researchers are one step closer to creating a micro-aircraft that flies with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect after decoding the aerodynamic secrets of insect flight. Dr John Young, from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, and a team of animal flight researchers from Oxford University's Department of Zoology, used high-speed digital video cameras to film locusts in action in a...

2009-09-17 14:52:41

Canadian scientists say they've discovered the fruit fly is capable of intricate social learning, much like humans. The McMaster University study found inexperienced female fruit flies, known as Drosophila melanogaster, can learn from their more experienced counterparts, mated fruit flies. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Reuven Dukas and graduate student Sachin Sarin, said they found that when the novices landed on decaying fruit where the mated females had laid their eggs, the...

2009-09-10 08:52:29

British scientists say they've found some female insects can control the amount of sperm they store in an effort to select the best father for their young. University of Exeter researchers say their findings represent new evidence to explain how some female insects can influence the father of their offspring, even after mating with up to 10 males. The scientists, led by postdoctoral researcher Amanda Bretman, made the discovery during research involving female crickets, which often mate with...

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2009-09-10 06:30:00

Every dead animal gives off a distinct odor, referred to as the "stench of death", according to new research by Canadian scientists. Animal corpses ranging from insects to crustaceans all exude the same scent, which is produced by a special blend of fatty acids. The scientists explained that the smell alerts other animals to avoid those that have been overcome by disease or predators, a "Ëœdeath recognition system' that probably evolved over 400 million years ago. The team of...

2009-09-08 09:54:21

Females control sperm storage to pick the best father Scientists have found new evidence to explain how female insects can influence the father of their offspring, even after mating with up to ten males. A team from the University of Exeter has found that female crickets are able to control the amount of sperm that they store from each mate to select the best father for their young. The research team believes the females may be using their abdominal muscles to control the amount of sperm...

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2009-09-08 09:35:00

Insects could replace many lab mice used for evaluating the safety of certain drugs, researchers reported on Tuesday. Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, from the National University of Ireland, and colleagues found that insects, such as moths, and fruit flies, could safely be used to replace mice in lab testing for drug safety. Kavanagh presented his findings to the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh on Tuesday. The team showed that neutrophils "“ a type of...

2009-08-25 14:38:01

Love songs aren't only for soft rock FM stations "“ they're also used by romantic bats, and researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin are believed to be the first to decode the mysterious love sounds made by the winged creatures. Their work is published in the current issue of PloS One (Public Library of Science).Researchers Kirsten Bohn and Mike Smotherman in the Department of Biology at Texas A&M, George Pollak at the University of Texas at...

2009-08-13 13:55:00

Water striders, the familiar semi-aquatic bugs gliding across the lake at the cottage, have a novel body form that allows them to walk on water.  This was not always the case.  Achieving the gliding ability required the evolution of a unique arrangement of the legs, with the mid-legs greatly elongated. Scientists at the University of Toronto's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology have discovered the gene behind this evolutionary change.Called the Hox gene, Ultrabithorax,...

2009-08-11 10:40:22

A U.S. researcher says climate change affects are as important to animals as they are to insects such as butterflies and beetles. Animals such as polar bears, tigers and dolphins are tremendously important, but mostly because they help define how we think about our relationship with the natural world, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor Jessica Hellmann said. But when it comes to the functioning of ecosystems, insects are where it's at. They carry diseases, they pollinate and they...


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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