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Current Entomology News and Events, Entomology News Articles.
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Researchers discover how ant species uses abdomen for extra power during jumps
Researchers in the department of entomology at the University of Illinois have shown how a species of ant uses its abdomen to add speed to its jump, in a recent study published in Integrative Organismal Biology. The results indicate that moving their abdomens aids the ants to jump further, higher, and faster overall. This is particularly helpful to the ants as they try to navigate the detritus on a forest floor. (2019-12-18)

Ohio University entomologist: Photos show evidence of life on Mars
As scientists scramble to determine whether there is life on Mars, Ohio University Professor Emeritus William Romoser's research shows that we already have the evidence. (2019-11-19)

CABI scientists track wheat aphids and their natural enemies for better pest management in Pakistan
For the first time, CABI scientists have studied the distribution and population dynamics of wheat aphids and their natural enemies in Pakistan through seasons and periods of time. This research could be useful to develop better pest management methods and safer, healthier crops in wheat production. (2019-10-10)

Study finds large potential range for invasive spotted lanternfly
A new study published today in the Journal of Economic Entomology models potential suitable habitat for the invasive spotted lanternfly and shows large swaths of the United States and beyond are likely to be vulnerable should the spotted lanternfly continue to spread. (2019-10-03)

West Nile virus in the New World: Reflections on 20 years in pursuit of an elusive foe
Though eradication of West Nile virus remains beyond our capability, the body of knowledge built since its arrival in the Americas in 1999 is now powering efforts to minimize its impact and prepare for the invasion of other mosquito-borne diseases. A new special collection in the Journal of Medical Entomology takes stock of lessons learned and progress made over the past 20 years of West Nile virus research, surveillance, and control. (2019-09-24)

Every time the small cabbage white butterfly flaps its wings it has us to thank
Through close examination of genetic variation and similarities between existing populations, and comparisons of historical data regarding infestations of Pieris rapae in Brassicaceae crops, a consortium of researchers document how humans helped the small cabbage white butterfly spread from Europe across the world. Scientists from eight institutions partnered with more than 150 volunteer citizen scientists from 32 countries to detail the pest's range and current genetic diversity. (2019-09-10)

New research predicts stability of mosquito-borne disease prevention
To reduce transmission of dengue to humans, scientists have introduced Wolbachia bacteria to A. aegypti mosquitoes. Now a team of international researchers has found that Wolbachia's ability to block virus transmission may be maintained by natural selection, alleviating concern that this benefit could diminish over time. (2019-08-26)

Asian longhorned beetle larvae eat plant tissues that their parents cannot
Despite the buzz in recent years about other invasive insects that pose an even larger threat to agriculture and trees -- such as the spotted lanternfly, the stink bug and the emerald ash borer -- Penn State researchers have continued to study another damaging pest, the Asian longhorned beetle. (2019-08-12)

Tobacco plant 'stickiness' aids helpful insects, plant health
Researchers show beneficial relationship between 'sticky' tobacco plants and helpful insects that consume tobacco pests. (2019-08-08)

Knowing berry pests' varied diets may help control them
A Cornell University study, published in Ecological Entomology, investigates for the first time what spotted-wing drosophila adults and larvae eat, and where they lay their eggs, when these short-lived fruits are not in season. (2019-08-06)

Plants defend against insects by inducing 'leaky gut syndrome'
Plants may induce 'leaky gut syndrome' -- permeability of the gut lining -- in insects as part of a multipronged strategy for protecting themselves from being eaten, according to researchers at Penn State. By improving our understanding of plant defenses, the findings could contribute to the development of new pest control methods. (2019-07-22)

Effectiveness of using natural enemies to combat pests depends on surroundings
A new study of cabbage crops in New York -- a state industry worth close to $60 million in 2017, according to the USDA -- reports for the first time that the effectiveness of releasing natural enemies to combat pests depends on the landscape surrounding the field. (2019-07-15)

How the mosquito immune system fights off the malaria parasite
A new study describes the way mosquito immune systems fight malaria parasites using various waves of resistance. The study could lay the groundwork for future research to combat the transmission of malaria, which sickens millions of people across the globe every year. (2019-07-10)

Climate warming could increase malaria risk in cooler regions
Malaria parasites develop faster in mosquitoes at lower temperatures than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Exeter. The findings suggest that even slight climate warming could increase malaria risk to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people -- including travelers -- in areas that are currently too cold for malaria parasites to complete their development. (2019-06-26)

New to science New Zealand moths link mythological deities to James Cameron's films
In an unexpected discovery, two species of macro-moths were described as new species endemic to the South Island, New Zealand. Each is restricted to only a couple of subalpine/alpine localities, which makes them particularly vulnerable to extinction, point out the scientists. Described in the open-access journal Alpine Entomology, the insects were named A. titanica and A. avatar simultaneously in reference to mythological deities and the top-grossing blockbusters by James Cameron: Titanic and Avatar. (2019-06-11)

New records show spread of parasitic deer flies across the US
With flattened bodies, grabbing forelegs and deciduous wings, deer keds do not look like your typical fly. These parasites of deer -- which occasionally bite humans -- are more widely distributed across the US than previously thought, according to Penn State entomologists, who caution that deer keds may transmit disease-causing bacteria. (2019-05-31)

Transgenic fungus rapidly killed malaria mosquitoes in West African study
In a research paper published in the May 31, 2019, issue of the journal Science, a team of scientists from the University of Maryland and Burkina Faso described the first trial outside the laboratory of a transgenic approach to combating malaria. The study showed that a naturally occurring fungus engineered to deliver a toxin to mosquitoes safely reduced mosquito populations by more than 99% in a screen-enclosed, simulated village setting in Burkina Faso, West Africa. (2019-05-30)

Fifteen years of mosquito data implicate species most likely to transmit West Nile virus in Iowa
A study published this week that analyzed 15 years of mosquito surveillance data shows Iowa's western counties experience a higher abundance of the species thought to most commonly carry West Nile virus. Culex tarsalis, the mosquito species most often implicated in West Nile transmission, usually becomes most active in early September. The data support similar findings in Nebraska and South Dakota. (2019-05-02)

More than 100 years of data show Pennsylvania tick population shift
The prevalence of the most abundant species of ticks found in Pennsylvania has shifted over the last century, according to Penn State scientists, who analyzed 117 years' worth of specimens and data submitted primarily by residents from around the state. (2019-05-02)

Mixing grass varieties may reduce insect infestations in lawns
A simple change in the choice of grass varieties for lawns of St. Augustinegrass could be a key tool for fending off fall armyworm infestations, according to new research. While no single St. Augustinegrass cultivar rises above the rest in resisting infestation, mixing varieties may confer some benefits, as fall armyworms clearly preferred single-cultivar plantings in a series of lab tests. (2019-04-22)

Spotted lanternflies found to be flyers, not gliders
The spotted lanternfly is not a strong or frequent flyer, weaknesses that may hinder its ability to travel long distances by air, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2019-04-08)

Capturing mosquito waste could speed up virus detection
Public health officials could soon be able to detect viruses in mosquitoes in the wild much more quickly and easily -- thanks to the insect equivalent of a urine test. A new study in Australia shows that two kinds of commonly used mosquito traps can be readily modified to collect mosquito excreta, or liquid waste droplets, to be tested for signs of viruses. (2019-04-04)

'Nightmarish' antlions' spiral digging techniques create effective and deadly traps
A team of biologists and physicists, led by the University of Bristol, have uncovered new insights into how antlions - one of the fiercest and most terrifying predators in the insect kingdom - build their deadly pit traps. (2019-03-26)

Inflammation inhibitor blocks neurodevelopmental disorders in mouse model
Work published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that an enzyme inhibitor developed by Professor Bruce Hammock and colleagues at UC Davis reduced inflammation in the brains of mice born to mothers with maternal immune activation. Inflammation triggered by the enzyme, soluble epoxide hydrolase, is linked to neurodevelopmental disorders in these mice. (2019-03-19)

Researchers: Pesticides influence ground-nesting bee development and longevity
Results from a new study suggest that bees might be exposed to pesticides in more ways than we thought, and it could impact their development significantly. The study, published in Nature's Scientific Reports, looks at the non-target effects of pesticides on ground-nesting bees, a group that actually makes up the majority of bee species. (2019-03-13)

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)

Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the pavement
A new NC State University study of urban tree life in the Southeast shows pavement and concrete may have a bigger effect than longitudinal warming. (2019-03-04)

Material that shields beetle from being burned by its own weapons, holds promise
Carabid beetles produce caustic chemicals they spray to defend themselves against predators, and the compound that protects their bodies from these toxic substances shows promise for use in bioengineering or biomedical applications, according to Penn State researchers. (2019-02-25)

How to keep the stink bugs out this winter 
Two new studies published in the Journal of Economic Entomology may shed some light on ways to keep the pests away (2019-02-21)

How to keep stink bugs out this winter
Every winter stink bugs infiltrate homes across the United States and two new studies published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by Virginia Tech researchers may shed some light on ways to keep the pests away. (2019-02-21)

Illinois researchers first to show hinge morphology of click beetle's latch mechanism
Aimy Wissa, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering (MechSE) at Illinois, leads an interdisciplinary research team to study click beetles to inspire more agile robots. The team, which includes MechSE Assistant Professor Alison Dunn and Dr. Marianne Alleyne, a research scientist in the Department of Entomology, recently presented their ongoing and novel work on the quick release mechanism of click beetles at the 2019 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting. (2019-02-18)

No stink bugs allowed: Study shows size of gaps needed for invasion
If a structure has a gap or entrance large enough for brown marmorated stink bugs to fit through, they will find it. But a new study shows that slits less than 3 millimeters wide and holes less than 7 millimeters wide should successfully exclude the vast majority of the bugs. A related study examines how overwintering stink bugs react to corpses of their fellow bugs remaining from previous winters. (2019-02-13)

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)

Cellular protein a target for Zika control
A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection. (2019-01-16)

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)

Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators
A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside, performed a study on the Big Island and found viruses associated with the varroa mite, a parasite of honeybees, have spilled over into the western yellowjacket, a honeybee predator and honey raider. The result is a hidden, yet remarkable, change in the genetic diversity of viruses associated with the larger pathogen community of the mite and wasp, with repercussions yet to be understood. (2019-01-08)

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)

New butterfly named for pioneering 17th-century entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian
More than two centuries before initiatives to increase the number of women in STEM fields, Maria Sibylla Merian was a professional artist and naturalist whose close observations and illustrations were the first to accurately portray the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths and emphasize the intimate relationship between insects and their host plants. Now, a new Central American butterfly species has been named in her honor. (2018-12-05)

Anopheles mosquitoes could spread Mayaro virus in US, other diverse regions
Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are well known as primary vectors of malaria. But a new study suggests that Anopheles species, including some found in the United States, also are capable of carrying and transmitting an emerging pathogen, Mayaro virus, which has caused outbreaks of disease in South America and the Caribbean. (2018-11-08)

Home cleanliness, residents' tolerance predict where cockroaches take up residence
Poor home sanitation and residents' tolerance regarding German cockroaches were a good predictor of the pest's presence in their apartments, according to a Rutgers study in Paterson and Irvington, New Jersey. (2018-11-07)

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