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Latest Sphingidae Stories

Hawk Moths Learn To Use Brain To Find Alternative Food Sources
2012-12-07 13:38:08

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When their favorite food isn´t readily available, hawk moths are able to switch to a different olfactory ℠channel´ in their brain, enabling them to learn how to find alternative nectar sources, according to a new report in the journal Science Express. The two olfactory channels allow the moths to survive in a changing floral environment and the researchers are expecting that better understanding of this mechanism...

Hawkmoths Can Actually See Humidity
2012-05-30 11:26:55

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com Instead of using visual cues or floral scents, some moths detect increases in humidity around flowers to see if it is worth further inspection, new research led by a University of Arizona entomologist has found. According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Martin von Arx of the University of Arizona has discovered a previously unknown sensory channel that is used in plant-animal interactions. "As creatures who...

2012-04-25 11:49:48

Newly developed analytic device 'Flywalk' allows accurate studies of insect behavior to be made In collaboration with colleagues from Portugal and Spain, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have developed an apparatus that automatically applies odors to an airstream, while filming and analyzing the behavior of insects simultaneously. The system is called Flywalk and consists of glass tubes, airstream regulators, and a video camera. The reactions...

Image 1 - Dramatic Diversity Of Columbine Flowers Explained By Simple Change In Cell Shape
2011-11-16 10:00:49

[ Watch the Video ] To match pollinators' probing tongues, cells in floral spurs elongate, driving rapid speciation Columbine flowers are recognizable by the long, trailing nectar spurs that extend from the bases of their petals, tempting the taste buds of their insect pollinators. New research at Harvard and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) helps to explain how columbines have achieved a rapid radiation of approximately 70 species, with flowers apparently tailored...

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2010-03-11 14:47:10

In most animal species, males and females show obvious differences in body size. But how can this be, given that both sexes share the same genes governing their growth? University of Arizona entomologists studied this conundrum in moths and found clues that had been overlooked by previous efforts to explain this mystery of nature. Take a look around in the animal world and you will find that, in most organisms, individuals of one sex are larger than the other of the species. Even though...

2009-07-09 12:54:13

University of California-Santa Barbara scientists say they have identified the genes that are responsible for changing a flower's colors. Professor Scott Hodges and graduate student Nathan Derieg said they studied red columbines pollinated by hummingbirds and white or yellow columbines pollinated by hawkmoths to document the evolution of such flowers in North America. They said their research indicates a color shift from red to white or yellow has occurred five times in that region. What is...

2009-07-08 14:36:36

A U.S. study shows not all insects have rigid wings, with some insects, such as moths, having wings that flex and deform during flight. University of Washington researchers said most scientists who study the mechanics and aerodynamics of insect flight have assumed insect wings are relatively rigid as they flap. But the researchers in the new study, led by biology Professor Thomas Daniel, used high-speed digital imaging to show some insects' wings flex and deform while in flight. The evidence...

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2009-06-29 17:00:00

Most scientists who create models trying to understand the mechanics and aerodynamics of insect flight have assumed that insect wings are relatively rigid as they flap.New University of Washington research using high-speed digital imaging shows that, at least for some insects, wings that flex and deform, something like what happens to a heavy beach towel when you snap it to get rid of the sand, are the best for staying aloft."The evidence indicates that flexible wings are producing profoundly...

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2009-06-29 14:10:00

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have zeroed in on the genes responsible for changing flower color, an area of research that began with Gregor Mendel's studies of the garden pea in the 1850's.In an article published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, two researchers document their studies of the evolution of columbine flowers in North America. They studied red columbines pollinated by hummingbirds, and white or yellow columbines pollinated by hawkmoths. They...

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2009-03-05 10:05:00

Moths need just the essence of a flower's scent to identify it, according to new research from The University of Arizona in Tucson. Although a flower's odor can be composed of hundreds of chemicals, a moth uses just a handful to recognize the flower. It's like identifying a piece of music from hearing only the notes played by a few key instruments, said lead researcher Jeffrey A. Riffell. "The moth isn't paying attention to all the chemicals at the same time," Riffell said. "It's actually...


Latest Sphingidae Reference Libraries

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2009-04-28 19:30:52

Three species in the Acherontia genus make up the group commonly referred to as the Death's-head Hawkmoth. One species is native to Europe, while the other two are found in Asia. These moths are named for their unique skull shaped markings on their thorax and vividly colored abdomens. They are also capable to making loud noises if frightened. These moths will invade beehives for honey and will come and go unharmed because they imitated the scent of the bees. Females will lay green or...

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2005-09-07 20:42:22

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is a species of hawk moth with a long proboscis. It is capable of hovering in place, as well as making an audible humming noise. These two features make it look remarkably like a hummingbird when it feeds on flowers. The forewings are brown and the hindwings are orange. The wingspan is 50-58 mm. Adults may be encountered at any time of the year, especially in the south of the range and two or more broods are produced each year. They fly...

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2005-07-14 00:56:38

Hawk moths (or Sphinx moths) are moths in the family Sphingidae. They are some of the fastest flying insects, capable of flying at over 30 miles per hour (50 km/h). They have a wingspan of 35-150 millimeters. Some hawk moths, like the hummingbird hawk moth, hover in midair while they feed on nectar from flowers and are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds, even in continents where hummingbirds are not found. The larvae of most species of hawk moth have a "horn" at the posterior end. Because...

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Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.