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Latest Insects Stories

Image 1 - Misleading Morphology
2011-10-27 04:35:18

3 European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just 1 Three widely differing forms of European Scambus parasitoid wasps that had previously been regarded as distinct species are shown to be seasonal morphs of a single species. The collaboration involved National Museums Scotland (Mark Shaw), a private individual (Malcolm Jennings) and Imperial College London + Natural History Museum (Donald Quicke). It was published in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research. The...

2011-08-04 13:49:15

New study demonstrates trade-off between development of defensive organs and regression of mouth parts during termite evolution Researchers demonstrate for the first time that programmed cell death - a process by which cells deliberately destroy themselves - is involved in mandibular regression in termites. And it appears this regression may be the price to pay for the formation of termites' defensive organs, according to Kouhei Toga and Kiyoto Maekawa from the University of Toyama, and...

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2011-07-19 12:20:00

German scientists have discovered new ancient relatives of the modern mayfly from the Lower Cretaceous of South America. The experts discovered adult winged specimens and preserved larvae to clarify the phylogenetic position of the insects. The insects were equipped with wing venation of a mayfly, breast and wing shape of a dragonfly, and legs of a praying mantis.  However, the larvae look more like freshwater shrimps.  The scientists said some of their characters clearly suggest...

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2011-07-06 14:02:55

One of the peskiest household pests, while disastrous to homes, could prove to be a boon for cars, according to a Purdue University study. Mike Scharf, the O. Wayne Rollins/Orkin Chair in Molecular Physiology and Urban Entomology, said his laboratory has discovered a cocktail of enzymes from the guts of termites that may be better at getting around the barriers that inhibit fuel production from woody biomass. The Scharf Laboratory found that enzymes in termite guts are instrumental in the...

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2011-06-27 08:31:48

About 100 million years ago, a tiny mayfly had a problem. Like most adult mayflies, she only had that one day to live anyway, so there was no time to waste. She took her mating flight, got fertilized, and was about to lay her eggs when something went horribly wrong. She got stuck in some oozing tree sap and died, preserved for all time in the magic of amber. There would be ho hatchlings. It was a pretty rude ending to what was already going to be a short adulthood. But her personal tragedy...

2011-04-14 14:12:00

PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Experts at Western Pest Services, a New Jersey-based pest control company with branches throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, warn that recent weather conditions are creating the "perfect storm" for spring termite activity. Western Pest Services has already seen increased termite activity compared to this time last year. "The harsh winter in the northern U.S., followed by warm, wet spring temperatures, provide conditions that...

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2011-04-14 14:24:03

On Friday, scientists will join together at Yale University for a forum that could overturn the three century old method for naming newly discovered nature. Adventurous scientists who capture previously unknown fish, birds and other creatures, and others who work with fossils and microorganisms, say that they have an increasing problem in assigning accurate names to their subjects. Evolutionary biologists, naturalists and other thinkers from Yale and the Smithsonian Institution in...

2011-04-02 01:59:05

Ants and termites have a significant positive impact on crop yields in dryland agriculture, according to a paper published today in the journal 'Nature Communications' by scientists at CSIRO and the University of Sydney. "Ants and termites perform the same ecosystem service functions in dryland agriculture that earthworms perform in cooler and wetter areas, but the potential for ants and termites to provide these benefits has received little attention until now," said CSIRO's Dr Theo Evans....

2011-03-21 08:03:00

ATLANTA, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- March 20 marks the first day of spring, bringing warmer temperatures and sporadic rain showers to the Southeast. Whether gardening, spring cleaning or playing outdoors, people are livelier with the change in weather, and they aren't the only ones. Termites are becoming increasingly active as well. Atlanta-based pest control leader Orkin has reported a recent increase in termite calls at some Southeastern branches, including those in Florida and South...


Latest Insects Reference Libraries

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2005-09-09 09:12:45

A caterpillar is the larval form of a lepidopteran (a member of the insect order comprising butterflies and moths). Caterpillars are characterized by their long segmented bodies and many sets of "legs". They eat voracious leaf eaters and grow rapidly, During growth the caterpillar will shed its skin four to five times before pupating into its adult form. Caterpillars have six true legs (being hexapods) on the thorax, up to four pairs of prolegs on the middle segments of the abdomen, and...

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2005-09-08 14:31:33

The Dragonfly is an insect belonging to the Order Odonata and suborder Anisoptera. It is characterized by large multi-faceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. The dragonfly's diet consists typically of mosquitoes, midges and other small insects like flies, bees, and butterflies. They can be found around lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands because their larvae (known as nymphs) are aquatic. Dragonflies do not bite or sting humans. Instead they are valued...

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2005-09-08 12:23:38

PHOTO CAPTION: Eriothrix rufomaculata (Photo taken by Keith Edkins) The tachinid flies (family Tachinidae) are by far the largest and most important group of insect parasitic flies, with over 1300 species in North America. It is a diverse group with some resembling drab houseflies and others brilliantly colored. All species are parasitic in the larval stage, and many are important natural enemies of major pests. Many species of tachinids have been introduced into North America from...

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2005-09-08 11:45:51

PHOTO CAPTION: Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea (photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / Janice Carr) Flea is the common name for any of the small wingless insects of the order Siphonaptera. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds. Some well known flea species include: Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis), Dog Flea (Ctenocephalides canis), Northern Rat Flea (Nosopsyllus fasciatus), Oriental Rat Flea (Xenopsylla...

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2005-09-08 11:11:08

PHOTO CAPTION: Goliath Beetle Beetles are one of the main groups of insects. Their order, Coleoptera (meaning "sheathed wing"), has more species than any other order in the entire animal kingdom. Forty percent of all described insect species are beetles (about 350,000 species), and new species are regularly discovered. Estimates put the total number of species at between 5 and 8 million. When J. B. S. Haldane, a British geneticist, was asked what his studies of nature revealed about...

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Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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