A new type of blow fly spotted in Indiana points to shifting species populations due to climate change. Researchers at IUPUI have observed the first evidence of Lucilia cuprina in Indiana, an insect previously known to populate southern states from Virginia to California.
A new study published this week found that the social lives of sweat bees -- named for their attraction to perspiration -- are linked to patterns of activity in specific genes, including ones linked to autism.
To be able to reproduce and become effective disease carriers, mosquitoes must first attain optimal body size and nutritional status. A pair of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have succeeded in using CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful tool for altering DNA sequences and modifying gene function, to decrease mosquito body size, moving the research one step closer to eliminating mosquitoes that carry dengue fever and Zika virus.
Adding to evidence that pesticide use may be abetting the decline of bumblebee, a new study reveals that daily consumption of even small doses of neonicotinoids reduces the survival of queen and male bees, which are critical to the viability of wild populations. The study also found that exposure to neonicotinoids alters the expression of many bee genes, suggesting that the chemicals may be having a greater impact on wild bee populations than previously thought.
The female of a sex-role reversed cave insect species Neotrogla has evolved a switching valve to receive more semen during mating, when a penis-like structure in the female anchors in the male 'vagina.'
For the first time, a Cornell University study of strawberry crops on New York farms tested this theory and found that wildflower strips on farms added pollinators when the farm lay within a "Goldilocks zone," where 25 to 55 percent of the surrounding area contained natural lands. Outside this zone, flower plantings also drew more strawberry pests, while having no effect on wasps that kill those pests.
The burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides buries the cadavers of small animals to use them as a food source for its offspring. However, the carcass is susceptible to microbial decomposition. Researchers from the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology and the Universities of Mainz and Giessen, Germany, show that the beetles replace harmful microorganisms with their own beneficial gut symbionts, thus turning a carcass into a nursery with a microbial community that even promotes larval growth.
Researchers from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) and two further universities have measured more than 19,000 tropical moths from 1,100 species to find out whether their size varies with elevation. The researchers found clear patterns: moths increase in size significantly at higher elevations.
In an unprecedented study of a solar eclipse's influence on bee behavior, researchers at the University of Missouri organized citizen scientists and elementary school classrooms to set up acoustic monitoring stations to listen in on bees' buzzing -- or lack thereof -- as the August 2017 total solar eclipse passed over North America. The results were clear and consistent at locations across the United States: Bees stopped flying during the period of total solar eclipse.
New species of owlet moth recently discovered to inhabit high-elevation mountains in western North America was named after the Greek mythological character Icarus. In their paper published in the open-access journal ZooKeys, scientists Dr. Lars Crabo and Dr. Christian Schmidt explain that the combination of the distinct flame-shaped mark on the moth's forewing and its high-elevation habitat was quick to remind them of the myth of Icarus.