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Current Insect News and Events, Insect News Articles.
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Genomes offer new insights into fig-wasp symbiotic system
In a recent study, researchers from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) and the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) provided insights into fig-wasp coevolution through comparative analyses of two Ficus genomes - one with aerial roots and one without, one monecious and one dioecious, as well as the genome of a coevolving wasp pollinator. They also sequenced more samples of figs and pollinators. (2020-10-09)

A new species of Darwin wasp from Mexico named in observance of the 2020 quarantine period
Scientists at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in Mexico recently discovered five new species of parasitoid wasps in Mexico, but the name of one of them is quite striking: covida. Described in a new paper, published in the peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal ZooKeys, the new to science Darwin wasp was identified during the 2020 global quarantine period, imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-10-08)

Airdropping sensors from moths
University of Washington researchers have created a sensor system that can ride aboard a small drone or an insect, such as a moth, until it gets to its destination. (2020-10-07)

Birds risk starvation trying to "keep pace" with climate change
Surviving on a warming planet can be a matter of timing--but simply shifting lifecycle stages to match the tempo of climate change has hidden dangers for some animals, according to new research from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour and Cornell University. (2020-10-06)

Solving global challenges using insect research
IRD researchers and their partners have published a special issue in the Current Opinion in Insect Science journal. Using an interdisciplinary approach and based on examples from international research, they explain how insects can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) identified by the United Nations for 2030. (2020-10-02)

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)

Invasion by non-native insects expected to increase 36 percent worldwide by 2050
An international team of scientists established that biological invasions will increase by 36 percent between 2005 and 2050. Modeling suggests that Europe is likely to experience the strongest biological invasions, followed by Asia, North America and South America. (2020-10-01)

Two pesticides approved for use in US harmful to bees
A previously banned insecticide, which was approved for agricultural use last year in the United States, is harmful for bees and other beneficial insects that are crucial for agriculture, and a second pesticide in widespread use also harms these insects. That is according to a new analysis from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. (2020-09-29)

Surplus sugar helps whiteflies detoxify plant defenses
When attacking crucifers, the sap-sucking whitefly Bemisia tabaci can activate the chemical defenses of these plants. In a new study, an international team of researchers demonstrated that the pest is able to render a large proportion of the plant toxins harmless by binding surplus sugar to them. The whitefly thus deploys a completely new and until now undescribed detoxification mechanism to defuse the plants' defenses, which could explain the success of this major agricultural pest. (2020-09-28)

Insect Armageddon: low doses of the insecticide, Imidacloprid, cause blindness in insects
Joint research provides important evidence on the role of insecticides on the longevity of insect population. (2020-09-28)

Secondary variant of Photorhabdus luminescens interacts with plant roots
One of the basic approaches in organic farming is to use organisms beneficial to the system to combat pests. The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is one such beneficial organism. Yet, it seems this is not the only ability of Photorhabdus that can be exploited for organic plant cultivation. A German research team has discovered additional properties that could significantly extend its range of uses. (2020-09-24)

First PhytoFrontiers™ paper discusses arabidopsis response to caterpillars
In their PhytoFrontiers article, Jacquie and colleagues, including first author Zhihong Zhang, who just completed her MSc studies and is interested in the regulation of plant responses to caterpillar herbivory, compare plant responses to two noctuid caterpillar species that are both considered to be ''generalist'' caterpillars. They investigated differences in plant defense responses from phytohormones to gene expression to specialized metabolites. (2020-09-24)

Coconut rhinoceros beetle makes unexpected 'host shift' to Guam's cycad trees
Researchers at the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam have documented what biologists call a ''host shift'' of the coconut rhinoceros beetle in Guam. The beetle, first documented as an invasive species in Guam in 2007, has been devastating the island's ubiquitous coconut trees and is now also burrowing into Guam's endangered native cycad tree, Cycas micronesica. (2020-09-16)

Biologists developing global citizen network to monitor insect abundance
A University of Arkansas biologist is part of an international team of researchers is building a volunteer network of citizen scientists to help monitor the abundance of dragonflies and damselflies. (2020-09-16)

Heated rivalries for pollinators among arctic plants
Insect pollination is as important to Arctic plants as it is to plants further south. When flowers abound, the plants have to compete for pollinators. Researchers at the University of Helsinki reveal that higher temperatures cause the flowering periods of different plant species to pile up in time. As a consequence, climate change may affect the competitive relationships of plants. (2020-09-11)

Brazilians start to unravel the mystery of North American insect bioluminescent systems
Researchers isolated molecules present in the larvae of a blue light-emitting fungus gnat that inhabits the Appalachians. The study will help elucidate human diseases and could lead to novel biotech applications. (2020-09-11)

Natural pest control saving billions
Biological control of insect pests - where 'natural enemies' keep pests at bay - is saving farmers in Asia and the Pacific billions of dollars, according to University of Queensland-led research. Dr Kris Wyckhuys from UQ's School of Biological Sciences said biological control involved the careful release of an exotic natural enemy from a pest's native habitat. (2020-09-03)

Awareness raising alone is not enough
Too rarely do nature conservation initiatives or strategies announced by politicians lead to people changing their everyday behaviour. A German-Israeli research team led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) has investigated the reasons for this. According to them, the measures do not sufficiently exploit the range of possible behavioural interventions and too rarely specify the target groups, they write in the journal Conservation Biology. (2020-09-01)

Scientists discover earliest fossil evidence of an insect lichen mimic
Scientists have uncovered the earliest known evidence of an insect mimicking a lichen as a survival strategy, according to new findings published today in eLife. (2020-09-01)

Study finds insect shows promise as a good, sustainable food source
With global food on the rise, a study led by IUPUI scientists has found new evidence that the yellow mealworm shows promise as alternative source of nutritional protein. (2020-08-31)

Pesticide-free crop protection yields up to US$ 20 billion/year benefits in Asia-Pacific
Scientists have estimated for the first time how nature-based solutions for agricultural pest control deliver US$ 14.6 to US$ 19.5 billion annually across 23 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The new research, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, suggests that non-chemical crop protection (or biological control) delivers economic dividends that far surpass those attained through improved ''Green Revolution'' rice germplasm (estimated at US$ 4.3 billion a year). (2020-08-31)

Maternal insecticide use during pregnancy and neonatal jaundice
Association between pesticide usage during pregnancy and neonatal hyperbilirubinemia requiring treatment: The Japan Environment and Children's study. (2020-08-28)

Reduce insecticide spraying by using ant pheromones to catch crop pests
Scientists at Bath have developed a molecular sponge that soaks up the pheromones of ants and releases them slowly to attract the pests to an insecticide trap. (2020-08-27)

Insect wings inspire new ways to fight superbugs
The wings of cicadas and dragonflies are natural bacteria killers, inspiring scientists who are searching for new ways to defeat drug-resistant superbugs. They've now revealed how bioinspired nanomaterials physically destroy bacteria. It's a vital step on the way to delivering precisely engineered anti-bacterial surfaces, and powerful new weapons in the fight against deadly superbugs. (2020-08-18)

Safer, more comfortable soldier uniforms are in the works
Uniforms of U.S. Army soldiers must feel comfortable in all climates, be durable through multiple washings, resist fires and ward off insects, among other things. Existing fabrics don't check all of these boxes, so scientists have come up with a novel way of creating a flame-retardant, insect-repellent fabric that uses nontoxic substances. The researchers will present their results today at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. (2020-08-17)

Insect diversity boosted by combination of crop diversity and semi-natural habitats
To enhance the number of beneficial insect species in agricultural land, preserving semi-natural habitats and promoting crop diversity are both needed, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied of Ecology. (2020-08-13)

'Insect apocalypse' may not be happening in US
Scientists have been warning about an 'insect apocalypse' in recent years, noting sharp declines in specific areas -- particularly in Europe. A new study shows these warnings may have been exaggerated and are not representative of what's happening to insects on a larger scale. (2020-08-11)

New tools in the fight against lethal citrus disease
Scientists are closer to gaining the upper hand on Huanglongbing, a disease that has wiped out citrus orchards across the globe. New models of the bacterium linked to the disease reveal control methods that were previously unavailable. (2020-08-10)

Plant size and habitat traits influence cycad susceptibility to invasive species
A long-term study on cycads in Guam has revealed how rapidly invasive species devastated the native Cycas micronesica species and the key factors that have influenced the plant's mortality. The research -- conducted by the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam and the College of Micronesia-FSM -- is published in the May 2020 issue of Diversity, a peer-reviewed journal published by MDPI. (2020-08-03)

Scientists unlock genetic secrets of wine growers' worst enemy
Following a decade-long effort, scientists have mapped out the genome of an aphid-like pest capable of decimating vineyards. In so doing, they have discovered how it spreads -- and potentially how to stop it. (2020-07-28)

Enhanced water repellent surfaces discovered in nature
Through the investigation of insect surfaces, Penn State researchers have detailed a previously unidentified nanostructure that can be used to engineer stronger, more resilient water repellent coatings. (2020-07-17)

How flies flip around on take-off from an upside- down position
Flies are able to right themselves very quickly when taking off from an upside-down position. Scientists from the CNRS and from The Institute of Movement Science (ISM) at Aix-Marseille Université studying this phenomenon discovered the surprising way these insects begin by turning their bodies before their heads on take-off. The research will be published on 15 July 2020 in the Journal of Experimental Biology. (2020-07-15)

Parasite infestations revealed by tiny chicken backpacks
Blood-feeding livestock mites can be detected with wearable sensor technology nicknamed ''Fitbits for chickens.'' To help farmers detect mite infestations, a team of entomologists, computer scientists, and biologists led by UC Riverside entomologist Amy Murillo has created a new insect detection system. (2020-07-13)

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)

Cycad stem cuttings need wound sealants for successful propagation
The need to cover an open wound on cycad stem cuttings has been confirmed by the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam in a study published in the Tropical Conservation Science journal on April 27. And the scientists have shown that the list of products that effectively fulfill this purpose is not restrictive. (2020-07-09)

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)

Forests can be risky climate investments to offset greenhouse gas emissions
Given the tremendous ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions -- a sort of climate investment. As with any investment, however, it's important to understand the risks. If a forest goes bust--through severe droughts or wildfires, researchers say -- much of that stored carbon could go up in smoke. (2020-06-18)

Agroforestry is 'win win' for bees and crops, study shows
Agroforestry has long been suggested as a solution to halt the decline of pollinators, yet observational studies in temperate climates have been virtually non-existent. New study shows planting woody plants alongside crops increases wild insect pollinator numbers and pollination. (2020-06-16)

New fossil discovery shows 50 million-year-old Canada-Australia connection
The discovery of a tiny insect fossil in Western Canada is unearthing big questions about the global movement of animals across deep time. The fossil, estimated to be 50 million years old, is the latest in a pattern of discoveries that are leading experts to contemplate a Canada-Australia connection not previously considered. (2020-06-15)

A robot to track and film flying insects
French scientists have developed the first cable-driven robot that can follow and interact with free-flying insects. With the help of this ''lab-on-cables,'' which is equipped with cameras and a controller that minimizes tracking errors between the insect's and the robot's position, they successfully studied the free flight of moths up to a speed of 3 metres/second. (2020-06-10)

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