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Latest Lepidoptera Stories

Image 1 - Gypsy Moth Caterpillars Are Hormonal Slaves To Virus Gene
2011-09-09 07:19:47

  Gypsy moth caterpillars infected with baculovirus forfeit safety and stay in the treetops during the day because a virus gene manipulates their hormones to eat continuously and forego molting, according to entomologists. The caterpillars die where they climb and infect other gypsy moth caterpillars. "Normally, gypsy moth caterpillars are active at night," said Kelli Hoover, professor of entomology, Penn State. "They hide during the day in the soil or bark crevices protected from...

2011-09-07 20:18:14

A six-year campaign to control invasive winter moths with a natural parasite led by entomologist Joe Elkinton of the University of Massachusetts Amherst now has concrete evidence that a parasitic fly, Cyzenis albicans, has been established and is attacking the pest at four sites in Seekonk, Hingham, Falmouth and Wellesley. It´s the beginning of the end for the decade-long defoliation of eastern Massachusetts trees by the invasive species, Elkinton says. The researchers marked an...

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2011-05-06 06:00:00

The origin and evolution of treehopper 'helmets' has been traced by developmental biologists to show that they have achieved what no other insects have done in more than 300 million years; they have developed a third set of wings, which have been modified to form the helmet. Treehoppers are small, odd-shaped relatives of cicadas and are masters of disguise. They have outgrowths called helmets that could resemble anything from seeds to thorns to caterpillar poop and even ants. The extravagant...

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2011-04-26 10:18:02

A plant's sugary offering betrays caterpillars to predatory ants Trichomes, hair-like projections on leaves, are part of a plant's defense against herbivores: they can be obstacles, traps, or reservoirs for toxic substances. The hairs of wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata contain primarily acyl sugars, which are composed of the common sugar, sucrose, bound to branched chain aliphatic acids, compounds that give baby vomit its distinctive odor. Tiny, freshly hatched caterpillars consume these...

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2011-04-04 21:23:12

Caterpillars that masquerade as twigs to avoid becoming a bird's dinner are actually using clever behavioral strategies to outwit their predators, according to a new study.Researchers at the universities of Exeter, Liverpool, Liverpool Hope and Glasgow have shown that when it comes to the art of camouflage, things are never quite the way they seem.The study, published online today in the journal PNAS, reveals that twig-mimicking caterpillars choose their location to maximize their chances of...

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2011-03-29 14:42:33

A team of scientists has discovered that descendants of "exploratory" butterflies that colonized new habitats differ genetically from their more cautious cousins. The team, led by James Marden, a professor of biology at Penn State University, and Christopher Wheat, a post-doctoral scholar working at both Penn State and the University of Helsinki, has revealed some of the genetic bases for faster egg maturation, a higher rate of energy metabolism, and superior flight ability -- traits that...

2011-03-11 00:00:28

The Orb Factory Limited Announces it's Very First iPad App (PRWEB) March 10, 2011 The Orb Factory Limited is a trusted name in children's crafts all around the world - and now they're going digital! Sticky Mosaicsâ“ž¢ Butterflies iPad app uses the same fun and educational concepts used in many of The Orb Factory's award-winning toys. Sticky Mosaicsâ“ž¢ Butterflies contains a set of four beautiful templates that your child can...

2011-03-09 18:12:50

Why should we care about butterflies and moths? Thanks to butterflies, bees, birds, and other animal pollinators, the world's flowering plants are able to reproduce and bear fruit. That very basic capability is at the root of many of the foods we eat. And, not least, pollination adds to the beauty we see around us. Yet today, there is evidence of alarming pollinator population declines worldwide. Fortunately, science investigators of this crucial issue can use data collected and organized in...

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2011-02-17 10:17:39

Rising carbon dioxide levels associated with global warming may affect interactions between plants and the insects that eat them, altering the course of plant evolution, research at the University of Michigan suggests. The research focused on the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. Milkweed is one of many plants that produce toxic or bitter chemical compounds to protect themselves from being eaten by insects. These chemical defenses are the result of a...

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2011-02-15 05:25:00

Experts report a partial recovery in the annual winter migration of Monarch butterflies to Mexico, following a devastating 75 percent fall last year. The conservation group World Wildlife Fund Mexico says the butterflies from the U.S. and Canada are covering an area of forests that is double that of last year, when their numbers dropped to a historic low. "Fluctuations in insect populations are normal in nature," the study's sponsors said in a statement, quoted by the Associated Press....


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
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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