A new paper in Behavioral Ecology finds that wild vampire bats that are sick spend less time near others from their community, which slows how quickly a disease will spread. The research team had previously seen this behavior in the lab, and used a field experiment to confirm it in the wild.
A research group of the University of Jena and the iDiv has discovered that insects have a decisive influence on the biodiversity and flowering phases of plants. If there is a lack of insects where the plants are growing, their flowering behaviour changes. This can result in the lifecycles of the insects and the flowering periods of the plants no longer coinciding. If the insects seek nectar, some plants will no longer be pollinated.
A horrifying insect soap opera with vampires, mummies and infant-eating parasites plays out on the stems and leaves of oak trees every day, and Rice University evolutionary biologist Scott Egan found the latest player, a new species of predatory wasp, within walking distance of his lab.
Ant farmers in tropical forests respond to the nutritional needs of their fungus gardens. And just as in human agriculture, the needs of each partner become more specialized as the relationship evolves.
Through an effort to characterize the color receptors in the eyes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, University of Minnesota researchers discovered the spectrum of light it can see deviates significantly from what was previously recorded.
The research team found a common insecticide, fipronil, and related compounds were more toxic to stream communities than previous research has found.
A multidisciplinary group that studies the physical and chemical properties of insect wings has demonstrated the ability to reproduce the nanostructures that help cicada wings repel water and prevent bacteria from establishing on the surface. The new technique - which uses commercial nail polish - is economical and straightforward, and the researchers said it will help fabricate future high-tech waterproof materials.
Giving preventive drugs to school-age children in Africa substantially reduces malaria infections and cases of anaemia, according to a new study in The Lancet Global Health.
Since the 1950s, "Africanized" honeybees have spread north and south across the Americas until apparently coming to a halt in California and northern Argentina. Now genome sequencing of hundreds of bees from the northern and southern limits shows a gradual decline in African ancestry across hundreds of miles, rather than an abrupt shift.
Getting run over by a car is not a near-death experience for the diabolical ironclad beetle. How the beetle survives could inspire the development of new materials with the same herculean toughness, engineers show in a paper published Wednesday (Oct. 21) in Nature.