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Latest Lepidoptera Stories

Greedy Pest Insects Deceived With Help From Gene Technology
2012-08-01 08:10:22

Worldwide cabbage farmers have vast problems with the diamond-back moth. It lays its eggs on the cabbage plants and the voracious appetite of the larvae ruins the yield. However, Morten Emil Møldrup from the University of Copenhagen has developed a method to deceive the greedy insects. Møldrup presents his spectacular research results at a public PhD defense on Friday 3 August. "We have discovered a way to cheat the diamond-back moths to lay their eggs on...

Moths Camouflage Secrets Revealed
2012-08-01 07:46:10

[ Watch The Video ] Moths are iconic examples of camouflage. Their wing coloration and patterns are shaped by natural selection to match the patterns of natural substrates, such as a tree bark or leaves, on which the moths rest. But, according to recent findings, the match in the appearance was not all in their invisibility. Despite a long history of research on these iconic insects, whether moths behave in a way to increase their invisibility has not been determined. A research team...

2012-07-26 11:05:04

Test of captive butterflies shows association between pigment level and flight distance For monarch butterflies, redder wings are correlated with better flight performance, according to research published July 25 in the open access journal PLoS ONE. Previous work has shown that monarch coloring is intended to warn their predators about their bitter taste and toxicity, and that migratory butterflies are darker colored than non-migratory ones, suggesting an association between darker...

Caterpillar Gets The Most From Food When Predator Is On The Hunt
2012-07-13 13:37:15

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While other animals beef up metabolism and stop growing or developing during a defensive period, hornworm caterpillars slow or stop eating but actually keep up their weight and develop a little faster in the short term. Hornworm caterpillars ate 30 percent to 40 percent less when threatened by stink bugs but weighed the same as their non-threatened counterparts as indicated by Ian Kaplan, a Purdue University assistant professor of...

Wing Bling: Flashier Is Better For Female Butterflies
2012-06-11 14:21:23

If female butterflies are programmed to identify males of their species by the patterns of spots on their wings, how can new wing patterns evolve in males? The answer is that while females are predisposed to prefer a specific pattern, they learn to like flashier ones more, according to a new Yale University study. The study published online the week of June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives a partial explanation of an evolutionary mystery. Biologists...

Male Virgin Moths Think They're Hot When They're Not
2012-06-07 09:12:58

Female sex odor makes cool males take flight too soon Talk about throwing yourself into a relationship too soon. A University of Utah study found that when a virgin male moth gets a whiff of female sex attractant, he's quicker to start shivering to warm up his flight muscles, and then takes off prematurely when he's still too cool for powerful flight. So his headlong rush to reach the female first may cost him the race. The study illustrates the tradeoff between being quick to start...

2012-05-25 10:04:04

A new study led by scientists in the Department of Biology at the University of York has shown how a butterfly has changed its diet, and consequently has sped northwards in response to climate change. Their study is published in the latest issue of Science. The researchers found that warmer summers have allowed the Brown Argus butterfly to complete its life cycle by eating wild Geranium plants. Because the Geraniums are widespread in the British countryside, this change in diet has...

2012-04-30 19:50:19

University of Florida lepidopterist Andrei Sourakov has spent his life´s work studying moths and butterflies. But it was his teenage daughter, Alexandra, who led research on how color impacts butterflies´ feeding patterns. The research shows different species exhibit unique foraging behaviors, and the study may be used to build more effective, species-specific synthetic lures for understanding pollinators, insects on which humans depend for sustaining many crops. In a study...

2012-03-27 08:33:09

Butterfly wings may rank among the most delicate structures in nature, but they have given researchers powerful inspiration for new technology that doubles production of hydrogen gas – a green fuel of the future – from water and sunlight. The researchers presented their findings here today at the American Chemical Society's (ACS') 243rd National Meeting & Exposition. Tongxiang Fan, Ph.D., who reported on the use of two swallowtail butterflies – Troides aeacus...

Monarch Butterfly Population Continues To Decline
2012-03-23 06:32:38

A Texas A&M researcher has found evidence that the population of Monarch butterflies continues to shrink. Craig Wilson is a senior research associate in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education and a longtime butterfly enthusiast. He says, according to reports from the World Wildlife Fund, Mexico´s Michoacan State and a host of private donors, that the numbers of Monarch butterflies that cross the state of Texas will be dramatically reduced, by as much as 30%. These...


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
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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