Current Entomology News and Events

Current Entomology News and Events, Entomology News Articles.
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Spotted lanternfly: Research accelerates in effort to contain invasive pest
When the spotted lanternfly arrived in the US, it was immediately recognized for the threat it posed to native plants and crops, and a community of researchers and experts in science, agriculture, and government sprang into action. A new collection showcases the growing body of research helping us understand the spotted lanternfly's biology and how to contain it. The collection features 25 articles, 16 of them new additions since June 2020. (2021-02-18)

Silencing the alarm
Like a scene from a horror movie, tomato fruitworm caterpillars silence their food plants' cries for help as they devour their leaves. That is the finding of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, who said the results may yield insights into the abilities of crop plants -- such as tomato and soybean -- to withstand additional stressors, like climate change. (2021-02-17)

Invasive flies prefer untouched territory when laying eggs
A recent study finds that the invasive spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) prefers to lay its eggs in places that no other spotted wing flies have visited. The finding raises questions about how the flies can tell whether a piece of fruit is virgin territory - and what that might mean for pest control. (2021-02-15)

The surprises of color evolution
Nature is full of colour. For flowers, displaying colour is primarily a means to attract pollinators. Insects use their colour vision not only to locate the right flowers to feed on but also to find mates. The evolutionary interaction between insects and plants has created complex dependencies that can have surprising outcomes. Casper van der Kooi, a biologist at the University of Groningen, uses an interdisciplinary approach to analyse the interaction between pollinators and flowers. (2021-01-25)

Feral colonies provide clues for enhancing honey bee tolerance to pathogens
Understanding the genetic and environmental factors that enable some feral honey bee colonies to tolerate pathogens and survive the winter in the absence of beekeeping management may help lead to breeding stocks that would enhance survival of managed colonies, according to a study led by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2021-01-21)

Discovery of new praying mantis species from the time of the dinosaurs
A McGill-led research team has identified a new species of praying mantis thanks to imprints of its fossilized wings. It lived in Labrador, in the Canadian Subarctic around 100 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, in the Late Cretaceous period. The researchers believe that the fossils of the new genus and species, Labradormantis guilbaulti, helps to establish evolutionary relationships between previously known species and advances the scientific understanding of the evolution of the most 'primitive' modern praying mantises. (2021-01-19)

Pollinators not getting the 'buzz' they need in news coverage
A dramatic decline in pollinating insects threatens the global food supply, yet it's getting ''vanishingly low levels of attention'' in mainstream news, even compared to coverage of climate change. That's the conclusion of a study titled ''No buzz for bees,'' published this week in a special issue of PNAS. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers analyzed nearly 25 million news items from six prominent U.S. and global news sources using the university's massive Global News Index. (2021-01-13)

Climate change reduces the abundance and diversity of wild bees, study finds
Wild bees are more affected by climate change than by disturbances to their habitats, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State. The findings suggest that addressing land-use issues alone will not be sufficient to protecting these important pollinators. (2021-01-12)

Artificial intelligence puts focus on the life of insects
Scientists are combining artificial intelligence and advanced computer technology with biological know how to identify insects with supernatural speed. This opens up new possibilities for describing unknown species and for tracking the life of insects across space and time (2021-01-12)

Study: Bumble bees lacking high-quality habitat have higher pathogen loads
Bumble bees found in low-quality landscapes -- characterized by a relative lack of spring flowers and quality nesting habitat -- had higher levels of disease pathogens, as did bumble bees in areas with higher numbers of managed honey bee hives, according to research led by Penn State scientists. (2020-12-21)

UMD finds more West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes in lower-income areas of Baltimore
Researchers at the University of Maryland found higher rates of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes in lower-income neighborhoods in urban areas of Baltimore, Maryland. Continuing a collaboration with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, this preliminary data provides another piece of the puzzle pointing to higher risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases in these neighborhoods already struggling with environmental injustices and poorer health outcomes. (2020-12-17)

Two centuries of Monarch butterflies show evolution of wing length
North America's beloved Monarch butterflies are known for their annual, multi-generation migrations in which individual insects can fly for thousands of miles. But Monarchs have also settled in some locations where their favorite food plants grow year round, so they no longer need to migrate. A new study of specimens collected over the last two centuries shows how wing length evolves in response to migration habits. (2020-11-02)

Salt-based mosquito-control products are ineffective, study shows
A new study by a bevy of expert mosquito researchers offers an important warning to consumers: Products claiming to reduce mosquito populations with salt-water solutions are ineffective. In a series of lab tests using nine mosquito species, researchers found no evidence that adult mosquitoes are killed by salt ingested at concentrations used in several popular mosquito-control products. The findings are reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology. (2020-10-20)

Supergene discovery leads to new knowledge of fire ants
A unique study conducted by University of Georgia entomologists led to the discovery of a distinctive supergene in fire ant colonies that determines whether young queen ants will leave their birth colony to start their own new colony or if they will join one with multiple queens. (2020-10-15)

Researchers hear more crickets and katydids 'singing in the suburbs'
he songs that crickets and katydids sing at night to attract mates can help in monitoring and mapping their populations, according to Penn State researchers, whose study of Orthoptera species in central Pennsylvania also shed light on these insects' habitat preferences. (2020-10-01)

Mosquitos lost an essential gene with no ill effects
University of Maryland scientists discovered mosquitos are missing a gene that's critical for survival in other insects. Alys Jarvela noticed the missing gene and went on the hunt to find out how mosquitos survive without it. She identified the first example of nature swapping out closely related genes, a phenomenon that poses caveats for studies using model organisms as proxies for other species. The research was published September 30, 2020, in Communications Biology. (2020-09-30)

Plant droplets serve as nutrient-rich food for insects
Small watery droplets on the edges of blueberry bush leaves are loaded with nutrients for many insects, including bees, wasps and flies, according to a Rutgers-led study, the first of its kind. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, suggests that these droplets are an important but underexplored feature in plants, with profound implications for insects in agricultural and natural ecosystems. (2020-09-29)

Entomologists from SPbU discover a rare species of tropical Heteroptera with long antennae
An international team of scientists, including researchers from St Petersburg University, has discovered a new genus and species of bug from the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It was named Tatupa grafei and classified as belonging to plant bugs (Miridae). (2020-09-22)

Bat tick found for the first time in New Jersey
A tick species associated with bats has been reported for the first time in New Jersey and could pose health risks to people, pets and livestock, according to a Rutgers-led study in the Journal of Medical Entomology. This species (Carios kelleyi) is a ''soft'' tick. Deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, are an example of ''hard'' ticks. (2020-09-09)

Researchers warn of food-web threats from common insecticides
In an opinion in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University argued for curbing the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. (2020-09-02)

Lone Star ticks in Illinois can carry, transmit Heartland virus
Researchers have confirmed that Heartland virus, an emerging pathogen with potentially dire consequences for those infected, is present in Lone Star ticks in two Illinois counties hundreds of miles apart. Lone Star ticks were first detected in Illinois in 1999 but had not been found to be infected with Heartland virus in the state. (2020-07-23)

Study identifies spread of bee disease via flowers
One in 11 flowers carries disease-causing parasites known to contribute to bee declines, according to a Cornell University study that identifies how flowers act as hubs for transmitting diseases to bees and other pollinators. (2020-07-23)

Returning to farming's roots in the battle against the 'billion-dollar beetle'
A new study from University of Arizona entomologists reaffirms the importance of crop rotation and diversification in combating the western corn rootworm's resistance to biotech crops. (2020-07-20)

Converting female mosquitoes to non-biting males with implications for mosquito control
''Nix has great potential for developing mosquito control strategies to reduce vector populations through female-to-male sex conversion, or to aid in the Sterile Insect Technique, which requires releasing only nonbiting males,'' said James Biedler, a research scientist in the Tu lab. (2020-07-14)

Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of "Spy vs. Spy"
Over time goldenrod plants and the gall flies that feed on them have been one-upping each other in an ongoing competition for survival. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that by detecting the plants' chemical defenses, the insects may have taken the lead. (2020-07-09)

Where did the Asian longhorned ticks in the US come from?
The invasive population of Asian longhorned ticks in the United States likely began with three or more self-cloning females from northeastern Asia, according to a Rutgers-led study. Asian longhorned ticks outside the U.S. can carry debilitating diseases. In the United States and elsewhere they can threaten livestock and pets. The new study, published in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health, sheds new light on the origin of these exotic ticks and how they are spreading across the United States. (2020-07-08)

Treatments tested for invasive pest on allium crops
A Cornell University-led team of researchers field-tested 14 active ingredients in insecticides, applied in a variety of methods, to understand the best treatment options against the Allium leafminer, a growing threat to onions, garlic and leeks. (2020-07-01)

Dangerous tick-borne bacterium extremely rare in New Jersey
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. (2020-06-25)

Tick surveillance and control lagging in US, study shows
While the prevalence of Lyme disease and other illnesses spread by ticks has steadily increased in the United States over the past 20 years, a new study of the state of American tick surveillance and control reveals an inconsistent and often under-supported patchwork of programs across the country. (2020-06-17)

National tick surveillance survey identifies gaps to be filled
New Cornell-led research shows that inadequate funding is the main barrier to better surveillance and control of ticks, including the blacklegged tick, which spreads Lyme disease, the No. 1 vector-borne illness in the country. (2020-06-17)

Study reveals important flowering plants for city-dwelling honey bees
Trees, shrubs and woody vines are among the top food sources for honey bees in urban environments, according to an international team of researchers. By using honey bees housed in rooftop apiaries in Philadelphia, the researchers identified the plant species from which the honey bees collected most of their food, and tracked how these food resources changed from spring to fall. The findings may be useful to homeowners, beekeepers and urban land managers who wish to sustain honey bees and other bee and pollinator species. (2020-04-28)

New species of moths discovered in the Alps named after three famous alpinists
During a genetic project of the Tyrolean State Museums in Innsbruck, Austrian entomologist and head of the Natural Science Collections Peter Huemer used an integrative research approach to study four long-known, yet controversial European moths. It turned out that he was not dealing with four, but seven species. Those three previously unknown moths were described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Alpine Entomology under the names of legendary alpinists Reinhold Messner, Peter Habeler and David Lama. (2020-04-27)

Gene-editing protocol for whitefly pest opens door to control
Whiteflies are among the most important agricultural pests in the world, yet they have been difficult to genetically manipulate and control, in part, because of their small size. An international team of researchers has overcome this roadblock by developing a CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing protocol that could lead to novel control methods for this devastating pest. (2020-04-23)

Common soil fungus could be ally in organic corn growers' fight against pests
A common soil fungus might be enlisted as a powerful partner by corn producers to suppress pests and promote plant growth, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest promoting the fungus could be an especially valuable strategy for organic growers who struggle with insect control. (2020-04-23)

To prevent tick encounters, where you dump your leaves matters
While many homeowners heed the advice to clear their lawns of fallen leaves in autumn to avoid creating tick-friendly habitat in high-use areas, a new study on tick abundance in leaf litter says raking or blowing leaves just out to the forest edge is not enough. In fact, dumping leaves where grass meets woods may inadvertently create an ideal habitat for blacklegged ticks. (2020-03-18)

Bumblebees aversion to pumpkin pollen may help plants thrive
Cornell University researchers have found that squash and pumpkin pollen have physical, nutritional and chemical defense qualities that are harmful to bumblebees. The results of their recent study suggest that deterring bumblebees from collecting and eating pollen may provide an evolutionary benefit to cucurbit plants. (2020-03-11)

Different tick, same repellents: Study shows how to avoid Asian longhorned tick
While the invasive Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) has now appeared in 12 states since its first detection in the United States in 2017, new research offers some good news about its potential as a public health threat. The same insect repellents and other personal protective measures recommended to prevent bites from native tick species also appear to be equally effective against the Asian longhorned tick. (2020-02-19)

Weather radar records drastic drop in mayfly populations
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Notre Dame and Virginia Tech applied radar technology -- the same used for meteorology -- to quantify the number of mayflies that emerged annually from two different bodies of water: the Upper Mississippi River and the Western Lake Erie Basin. Their goal was to characterize the size of these swarms using the same technique a meteorologist would use to quantify the amount of precipitation that may fall from a cloud. (2020-02-03)

Prescribed burns benefit bees
Freshly burned longleaf pine forests have more than double the total number of bees and bee species than similar forests that have not burned in over 50 years, according to new research from North Carolina State University. (2020-01-29)

New study identifies bumble bees' favorite flowers to aid bee conservation
Research in the Sierra Nevada region of California illustrates the varying flower choices of bumble bees: the five most common bumble bee species studied each selected a different assortment of flowers, and each selected at least one flower species not selected by the others. The findings are already being put to use in forest restoration efforts to increase and improve quality of bumble bee habitat. (2020-01-28)

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