Popular Entomology News and Current Events

Popular Entomology News and Current Events, Entomology News Articles.
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Mowing for monarchs
You might think that mowing fields wouldn't benefit monarch butterfly populations. New research from Michigan State University, however, shows that disturbances like mowing -- at key times -- might help boost the iconic butterfly's numbers. (2019-03-12)

Big data for little creatures
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at UC Riverside has received $3 million from the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers who will learn how to exploit the power of big data to understand insects. The program, the first of its kind worldwide, will serve as a replicable education and training model for other institutions with an interest in developing computational entomology programs. (2016-10-10)

Nation's beekeepers lost 44 percent of bees in 2015-16
United States beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. This is a higher overall loss rate than last year and marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates. The survey is conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the USDA. (2016-05-10)

Reach out and feed someone: Automated system finds rapid honey bee communication networks
By developing a system that allows automated, in-depth monitoring of the social interactions of honey bees, researchers have now uncovered an unexpected property of the bee social network that may someday help us design more effective human and machine communication systems. (2018-01-29)

Considering cattle could help eliminate malaria in India
The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers. (2017-01-16)

Fire ants are emerging nuisance for Virginians
Red imported fire ants, which have caused trouble in Florida and Texas for decades, are advancing in Virginia. Virginia Tech scientists are trying to learn more about the increasing number of fire ant infestations. (2007-05-24)

For global invasion, Argentine ants use chemical weapons
In a paper published today in Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of California, Riverside show how Argentine ants use chemical secretions as weapons in their interactions with harvester ants, which are native to California. The findings could help in the development of new pest control strategies. (2018-01-24)

In bee decline, fungicides emerge as improbable villain
When a Cornell-led team of scientists analyzed two dozen environmental factors to understand bumblebee population declines and range contractions, they expected to find stressors like changes in land use, geography or insecticides. Instead, they found a shocker: fungicides, commonly thought to have no impact. (2017-11-14)

Scientists say agriculture is good for honey bees
Scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Results indicated hive health was positively correlated to the presence of agriculture. According to the study, colonies in a non-agricultural area struggled to find adequate food and produced fewer offspring. The findings suggest that the benefits of better nutrition in agricultural areas outweigh the risks of exposure to agricultural pesticides. (2017-05-02)

Insects and umami receptors
Insects, like mammals including humans, sort chemicals by taste into a few categories and use this information to decide whether to ingest or reject food. University of California, Riverside researchers have identified a receptor playing a key role in insect identification of amino acid, or umami, taste. (2017-01-23)

When natural disaster strikes, can insects and other invertebrates recover?
After a 100-year flood struck south central Oklahoma in 2015, a study of the insects, arthropods, and other invertebrates in the area revealed striking declines of most invertebrates in the local ecosystem, a result that researchers say illustrates the hidden impacts of natural disasters. (2018-03-15)

New insights on mosquitoes that spread disease
The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is a highly invasive species and a vector of multiple pathogens including various viruses, such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. A new Medical and Veterinary Entomology study that evaluated the relationship between the mosquito's presence and habitat variables at a small scale provides important information for planning effective prevention and control campaigns. (2018-07-09)

Diversity as natural pesticide
Monoculture crops provide the nutrient levels insect pests crave, explains a study led by the University of California, Davis, in the journal Nature. Returning plant diversity to farmland could be a key step toward sustainable pest control. (2016-10-12)

Using seaweed to kill invasive ants
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have developed an inexpensive, biodegradable, seaweed-based ant bait that can help homeowners and farmers control invasive Argentine ant populations. (2017-05-18)

Felling pines: Doing it sooner rather than later is better for fynbos
Here's some advice for landowners wanting to remove pine trees in the hope of seeing fynbos plants on their properties again: do so before the trees have grown there for more than 30 years. The longer they wait, the less likely the chances that any fynbos seeds will be left in the soil to sprout successfully, according to researchers from Stellenbosch University and the City of Cape Town, in the South African Journal of Botany. (2017-11-22)

Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants
A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season. (2016-05-31)

For entomologists, a gender gap remains in academic, government employment
Despite a healthy pipeline of women graduating from entomology programs in the United States, insect science jobs in academia and government are disproportionately held by men, according to a new study in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. The study indicates that men exceed women in university and federal entomology jobs by a 3-to-1 ratio, even though women have earned more than 40 percent of doctoral degrees in entomology for the past decade. (2018-09-05)

Pest resistance to biotech crops surging
Pest resistance to genetically engineered crops Bt crops is evolving faster now than before, UA researchers show in the most comprehensive study to date. But as expected from evolutionary theory, resistance can be delayed if farmers comply with recommendations to make use of abundant refuges. (2017-10-10)

Study of fungi-insect relationships may lead to new evolutionary discoveries
Zombie ants are only one of the fungi-insect relationships studied by a team of Penn State biologists in a newly compiled database of insect fungi interactions. (2016-05-24)

UM professor co-authors report on the use of biotechnology in forests
University of Montana Professor Diana Six is one of 12 authors of a new report that addresses the potential for biotechnology to provide solutions for protecting forest trees from insect and pathogen outbreaks, which are increasing because of climate change and expanded global trade. (2019-01-15)

How do insects survive on a sugary diet?
In research published in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, show that bacteriocytes -- specific aphid cells that house the symbiotic bacteria -- have different DNA methylation patterns depending on what type of plant sap the aphid is consuming. (2018-05-24)

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt
Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions. (2018-05-29)

Newly identified bacteria may help bees nourish their young
A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside have isolated three previously unknown bacterial species from wild bees and flowers. The bacteria, which belong to the genus Lactobacillus, may play a role in preserving the nectar and pollen that female bees store in their nests as food for their larvae. (2018-04-13)

How insects decide to grow up
Like humans, insects go through puberty. The process is known as metamorphosis. Examples include caterpillars turning into butterflies and maggots turning into flies. But, it has been a long-standing mystery as to what internal mechanisms control how insects go through metamorphosis and why it is irreversible. Now, a team of scientists, led by an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside, has solved the mystery. (2017-01-26)

UT student wins competition at Beltwide Cotton Conference
Shawn Butler, a doctoral candidate at UT CASNR, recently won first place in a student oral paper competition at the 2017 Beltwide Cotton Conference. His research focused on the effects of spray technology on fungicide efficacy in target spot. (2017-01-30)

Wasps, ants, and Ani DiFranco
A University of California, Riverside graduate student has discovered several news species of wasps, including one that she named after musician Ani DiFranco. (2017-01-23)

Pesticides used to help bees may actually harm them
Honeybees from chlorothalanil-treated hives showed the greatest change in gut microbiome. (2016-08-08)

Study shows single insecticide application can kill 3 cockroach generations
One dose of an insecticide can kill three generations of cockroaches as they feed off of each other and transfer the poison, according to Purdue University entomologists who tested the effectiveness of a specific gel bait. (2008-06-23)

Pest control: Wicked weeds may be agricultural angels
Farmers looking to reduce reliance on pesticides, herbicides and other pest management tools may want to heed the advice of Cornell agricultural scientists: Let nature be nature -- to a degree. (2016-11-11)

$1.2M USDA grant to study Northeast organic farming
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems has awarded a $1.2 million grant for the creation of a new organic farming network managed by Cornell University's Department of Horticulture. (2001-12-07)

Bees wearing reflectors help scientists track insects' training flights
Like aviators in training, honey bees preparing to forage learn their skills in a series of pre-flights to learn the landscape before undertaking new missions, say Illinois and UK scientists who used harmonic radar to track bees wearing ultra-light reflectors. (2000-02-02)

Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologies
Researchers are looking to insects -- specifically cicadas -- for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. (2017-08-02)

Virus inhibits immune response of caterpillars and plants
It is well known that certain wasps suppress the immune systems of their caterpillar hosts so they can successfully raise their young within those hosts. Now researchers at Penn State show that, in addition to suppressing caterpillar immune systems, wasps also suppress the defense mechanisms of the plants on which the caterpillars feed, which ensures that the caterpillars will continue to provide a suitable environment for the wasps' offspring. (2018-05-01)

National Science Foundation and Popular Science announce 2016 Vizzies winners
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Science magazine today announced the winners of the 2016 Vizzies, awards that celebrate the use of visual media to clearly and accessibly communicate scientific data and research. (2016-02-24)

Orchards in natural habitats draw bee diversity, improve apple production
Apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse collection of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats, according to a new Cornell University-led study, published in the journal Science. (2019-01-17)

New technology improves CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in mosquitoes, other species
A technology designed to improve CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in mosquitoes and other arthropods succeeds with a high degree of efficiency, while eliminating the need for difficult microinjection of genetic material, according to researchers. (2018-08-09)

Genetic changes help mosquitoes survive pesticide attacks
The fascinating array of genetic changes that confer pesticide resistance in Anopheles mosquitoes is reviewed in an article published today in Trends in Parasitology. The paper is written by Colince Kamdem, a postdoctoral scholar, and two colleagues from the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside. The findings highlight the interplay between human interventions, mosquito evolution, and disease outcomes, and will help scientists develop new strategies to overcome pesticide resistance. (2018-01-02)

Potential range for new invasive tick covers much of eastern US
Since the arrival of the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in North America was first reported in New Jersey in early 2018, it has been found in eight other states in the US And, by the looks of a new study comparing North American habitat with the invasive tick's native territory, it shouldn't be a surprise if it shows up in many more. (2018-12-13)

Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robots
Robots perform many tasks that humans can't or don't want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge. (2017-09-25)

Lone star ticks not guilty in spread of Lyme disease
The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are transmitted to humans primarily by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). Often presumed guilty by association is the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). However, a new review of three decades' worth of research concludes the latter should be exonerated: While lone star ticks are guilty of transmitting bacteria that cause several human illnesses, the scientific evidence says Lyme disease is not one of them. (2018-01-31)

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