Having genitals of a certain shape and size gives male flies a major reproductive advantage, new research shows.
With a combined century of experience in the tropics, the University of Pennsylvania's Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs have seen a striking contraction of insect numbers and diversity. They share new data suggesting that climate change is the culprit and a way to protect the survivors: a bioliteracy program that aims to educate Costa Rican residents about the diversity around them and empower them to conserve it. It's a model they hope catches on and spreads around the globe.
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry - mimicking a poisonous species - as a defense against predators. The common palmfly, Elymnias hypermnestra (a species of satyrine butterfly), which is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia, adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy: the females evolved two distinct forms, either orange or dark brown, imitating two separate poisonous model species, Danaus or Euploea.
Researchers have found that the blue orchard bee, an important native pollinator, produces female offspring at higher rates in the aftermath of wildfire in forests.
Research at NC State and the University of British Columbia shows that there are trade-offs between sperm viability and the expression of a protein involved in the insect's immune response.
The fascinating compound eyes of insects consist of hundreds of individual eyes known as "facets". In the course of evolution, an enormous variety of sizes and shapes has emerged, often adaptations to different environmental conditions. Scientists, led by a research group at Göttingen University have now shown that these differences can be caused by very different changes in the genome of fruit flies. The study was published in Molecular Biology and Evolution.
A recent Point of Reference article, "The meat of the matter: Environmental dissemination of beef cattle agrochemicals," published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, points at synthetic chemical cocktails being emitted from cattle feed yards into the environment and how they can impact our ecosystem and our health.
Mosquitoes are transmitters of several diseases and pesticides are used to control their numbers in many countries. New study finds Wolbachia - a bacteria commonly found in insects - appears to protect them against these pesticides.
A new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and the City College of New York (CCNY) has identified a unique, genetic "mimicry switch" that determines whether or not male and female Elymnias hypermnestra palmflies mimic the same or different species of butterflies.
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry -- mimicking a poisonous species -- as a defense against predators. The common palmfly Elymnias hypermnestra -- a species of satyrine butterfly that is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia -- adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy.