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Latest Lepidoptera Stories

2011-01-25 12:22:38

Scientists studied the defences used by caterpillars that transform into large white butterflies, called Pieris brassicae. The insects regurgitate semi-digested cabbage leaves to make them smell and taste unpleasant to predators. The team found, however, that frequent use of this defence reduces the caterpillars' growth rate and the number of eggs they produce. It remains unclear why their defences affect them in this way, but the loss of nutrition from frequent regurgitation is thought to...

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2011-01-07 06:00:00

A new study published Thursday in the journal Science has found that female butterflies that grow up in colder temperatures become more aggressive as adults, actively chasing males for sex and food. "Behavior in these butterflies is changed by the temperatures experienced during development," said study co-author Kathleen Prudic of Yale University, who studied female Squinting Bush Brown Butterflies (Bicyclus anynana). Researchers were curious as to why some females had ornate wing markings...

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2010-11-08 07:55:42

Combining pest-resistant cotton with the controlled release of sterile pink bollworm moths, a UA-led initiative has virtually rid Arizona of one the world's most damaging cotton pests Using pests as part of an insect birth control program helps to get rid of them, UA researchers find. A new approach that combines the planting of pest-resistant cotton and releasing large numbers of sterile moths has virtually eliminated of the world's most destructive cotton pests from Arizona. The novel...

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2010-10-12 08:00:00

Monarch butterflies appear to use medicinal plants to treat their offspring for disease, research by biologists at Emory University shows. Their findings were published online Oct. 6 in the journal Ecology Letters. "We have shown that some species of milkweed, the larva's food plants, can reduce parasite infection in the monarchs," says Jaap de Roode, the evolutionary biologist who led the study. "And we have also found that infected female butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on plants that...

2010-08-06 17:06:37

Research suggests coping with global warming has a genetic component With global warming and climate change making headlines nearly every day, it could be reassuring to know that some creatures might cope by gradually moving to new areas as their current ones become less hospitable. Nevertheless, natural relocation of species is not something that can be taken for granted, according to Jessica Hellmann, Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame Department of Biological Science in...

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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...

2010-07-12 04:07:00

FREDERICK, Md., July 12 /PRNewswire/ -- American gardeners face frustrating problems with their edible or ornamental gardens. These problems are caused by many different pests. Here are MasterGardening.com's Top 10 garden pests and control tips: 1. Deer. These peaceful animals were tabbed as causing the most widespread damage in a USDA national survey. Clean up all unharvested fruits and vegetables. If you still see signs of deer damage -- torn leaves or bark scraped off trees -- you can...

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2010-06-11 07:29:41

If you live in a section of the country where gypsy moths are a relatively new menace, have no fear, help is not far behind. Cornell University entomologist Ann Hajek told a national conference earlier this month that when the gypsy moth "“ whose caterpillars have defoliated entire forests "“ started spreading westward more than 100 years ago from New England to Wisconsin, its fungal and viral pathogens followed close behind. "We were pretty surprised," Hajek says. "No one knew...

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2010-05-31 09:05:06

Scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies. The findings could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge. The striking iridescent colors displayed on beetles, butterflies and other insects have long fascinated both physicists and biologists, but mimicking nature's most colorful, eye-catching surfaces has proved elusive. This...

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2010-04-14 06:40:00

The hair-like structures used by birch caterpillars to communicate warnings may have evolved from walking, researchers from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada have discovered. The research team, led by Dr. Jayne Yack from the university, published their findings in the Nature Communications journal. Their report was entitled "The evolutionary origins of ritualized acoustic signals in caterpillars" and was published in the April 12 issue. In the abstract accompanying their report, the...


Latest Lepidoptera Reference Libraries

Black Stream Glider, Neurothemis fulvia
2013-07-25 14:24:03

The black stream glider (Neurothemis fulvia) is a species of dragonfly that is native to India and neighboring areas. It is typically found near forested areas with slow moving streams and canals. It can be seen perching on many objects within these areas like aquatic plants, and boulders. The black stream glider is medium in size, with males holding an average abdomen length of up to 1.1 inches and females holding an abdomen that reaches a length of up to .9 inches. Both males and females...

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2009-04-28 21:04:39

The Plutella xylostella is often referred to as the Diamondback or Cabbage moth. This species is has a brief lifespan of only 14 days and is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region of Europe, but has since dispersed across the world. This species is capable of reproducing quickly and can travel great distances. Diamondback are considered serious pests in warmer climates when the absence of a harsh winter prevents their eggs from being destroyed. The moths are resistant to...

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2009-04-28 21:01:20

The Argema mittrei, more commonly known as the Comet or Moon Moth, is an endangered species. It is a native of Madagascar and that is the only place where one can observe them in the wild. This large silk moth can be bred in captivity and is one of the world's largest moths. Males have an average wing span of nearly 8 inches and a tail span of almost 6 inches. The lifespan of an adult moth is only 4-5 days and they are capable of reproduction from day 1. Their cocoons are uniquely...

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2009-04-28 20:58:59

The Agrotis infusa or Bogong moth is a species of nocturnal moth that in spring will swarm in great numbers around public buildings in Canberra, Australia. They are commonly found in Southern parts of Australia featuring a wingspan of one and three quarters inches and are brown or black in color with stout bodies covered with long thick scales. Larvae are often called cutworms and feed on a variety of plants of which they "cut" pieces and carry them back to their burrows for food. Adult...

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2008-08-06 17:51:14

The Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia), also known as the Eyed Tiger Moth, is a moth of the Arctiidae family. It is distributed throughout the southern and eastern United States from New England to Mexico. This species has a wingspan of 3 inches. The wings are bright white with a pattern of neat black blotches, some hollow and some solid. The abdomen is dark blue with orange markings. The male has a narrow yellow line on the sides. Its legs have black and white bands. Adult moths...

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Word of the Day
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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