There's some good news in New Jersey about a potentially deadly tick-borne bacterium. Rutgers researchers examined more than 3,000 ticks in the Garden State and found only one carrying Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But cases of tick-borne spotted fevers have increased east of the Mississippi River, and more research is needed to understand why, according to a study in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
New research has revealed for the first time that shield bugs use a variety of colours throughout their lives to avoid predators. For years it has been thought that animals living in the same environment -- like nymphs and adults of the same species -- should use similar warning colours, not different ones.
Climate change leads to longer growing seasons in the Arctic. A new study, which has just been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that predators like wolf spiders respond to the changing conditions and have been able to produce two clutches of offspring during the short Arctic summer. The greater number of spiders may influence the food chains in Greenland.
Paper wasps eavesdrop on fighting rivals to rapidly assess potential opponents without personal risk. This new finding adds to mounting evidence that even mini-brained insects have an impressive capacity to learn, remember and make social deductions about others.
In a step toward better control of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, researchers have mapped the patterns of insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes across Africa. The new study, published June 25, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Catherine Moyes and Penelope Hancock of the University of Oxford, UK, and collaborators, found that resistance to five mainstream insecticides increased dramatically between 2005 and 2017.
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Rachel Smith has published a description of 18 new species of aquatic water beetle from the genus Chasmogenus in the peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys.
In a paper published by the Royal Society, a team of Bristol researchers observed the exploratory behaviour of ants to inform the development of a more efficient mathematical sampling technique.
New research shows that removing sexual competition and choice through enforced monogamy creates populations that are less resilient to environmental stress, such as climate change. The research team looked at how flour beetles coped with environmental and genetic stress after they had evolved under monogamous versus polyandrous mating patterns. The researchers say that their findings should apply to any species that reproduces sexually, experiences some degree of sexual selection, and faces environmental stress.
When choosing a mate, females of different subspecies of Drosophila mojavensis recognize the right mating partners either mainly by their song or by their smell. New species apparently evolve when the chemical mating signal is altered and when, in turn, the signal is reinterpreted by the opposite sex in the context of other signals, such as the courtship song.