Current Insects News and Events

Current Insects News and Events, Insects News Articles.
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New comprehensive study on feeding patterns of tiger mosquitos in Europe
This study, published recently in the international journal Insects, was conducted by researchers from the University of Granada, the Doñana Biological Station, and the Biomedical Research Networking Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) (2021-02-23)

Animal evolution -- glimpses of ancient environments
Zoologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich report the discovery of a trove of fossil fly larvae, and an intriguing caterpillar, encapsulated in samples of amber that are tens of millions of years old. (2021-02-19)

How location dictates biological clocks of species: Study in beetles offers new insights
Biological clocks are ubiquitous in living organisms and govern their behavioral pattern, from sleep-wake cycle to reproduction. Although they are well-understood, how they differ based on geographic location is unclear. In a new study, scientists from Japan report variations in the biological clocks of red flour beetles across the country, offering new insights into how they work. (2021-02-18)

Perceiving predators: Understanding how plants 'sense' herbivore attack
Plants are known to possess solid immune response mechanisms. One such response is ''sensing'' attack by herbivorous animals. In a new review article, Prof. Arimura from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, discusses ''elicitors''--the molecules that initiate plant defense mechanisms against herbivore attack. He highlights the major types of elicitors and the underlying cellular signaling, and states that this could spur research on organic farming practices that could prevent the use of harmful pesticides. (2021-02-16)

Ecological interactions as a driver of evolution
In a recent study, an international team of researchers including TUD botanist Prof. Stefan Wanke has investigated the origin of the mega-diversity of herbivorous insects. These account for a quarter of terrestrial diversity. The results of the study were recently published in the international journal Nature Communications. There the scientists show that the evolutionary success of insects may be linked to recurrent changes in host plants. (2021-02-09)

Color is in the eye of the beholder
Researchers led by Harvard University develop a novel method to express long wavelength invertebrate opsin proteins in vitro and detail the molecular structure of long- and short-wavelengths in the opsins of the lycaenid butterfly, Eumaeus atala, discovering previously unknown opsins that result in red-shifted long wavelength sensitivity in their visual system. The new method pinpoints the specific base pair changes responsible for the spectral tuning of these visual proteins and reveal how vision genes evolved. (2021-02-09)

Dragonflies perform upside down backflips to right themselves
High speed cameras and CGI technology have revealed the inbuilt righting mechanisms used by dragonflies when they are thrown off balance. (2021-02-09)

The business of bees
The economic value of insect pollinators was $34 billion in the U.S. in 2012, much higher than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University. The team also found that areas that are economically most reliant on insect pollinators are the same areas where pollinator habitat and forage quality are poor. (2021-02-03)

Biobased anti-thrombosis agent
Thrombosis, the clogging of blood vessels, is a major cause of heart attacks and embolism. Scientists have now engineered the first inhibitors of thrombin, a protease promoting thrombosis, that is three-fold efficient. In a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the authors demonstrate that attacking three sites of the thrombin molecule is more efficient than attacking only two sites, which is the mode of action of many natural agents. (2021-01-29)

Putting bugs on the menu, safely
The thought of eating insects is stomach turning for many, but new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research is shedding light on allergy causing proteins which could pose serious health risks for those suffering from shellfish allergy. The research, published in the journal Food Chemistry, identified 20 proteins found in cricket food products which could cause serious allergic reactions. (2021-01-27)

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)

Flowery diets help predatory insects help farmers keep pests in check
Predatory insects have been shown to live longer when they have access to nectar and pollen, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. Thus, flowers don't just benefit insects, they help farmers farm sustainably. Predatory insects are skilled pest controllers whose hunting reduces the need for agricultural pesticides. (2021-01-22)

Common pesticides stop bees and flies from getting a good night's sleep
Just like us, many insects need a decent night's sleep to function properly, but this might not be possible if they have been exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides, the most common form of insecticide used worldwide, suggests research by academics at the University of Bristol. (2021-01-21)

Beetles reveal how to hide the body
A corpse is a home to the burying beetle, and UConn researchers are learning how this specialist critter keeps its home free of unwanted visitors. (2021-01-20)

50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia
The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug's physical characteristics -- from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia -- are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs. (2021-01-19)

How drain flies dodge a washout
Shower spray is like water off a duck's back to bathroom flies. (2021-01-19)

Appreciating a flower's texture, color, and shape leads to better drone landings
A team of TU Delft and the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences researchers present an optical flow-based learning process that allows robots to estimate distances through the visual appearance (shape, color, texture) of the objects in view. This artificial intelligence (AI)-based learning strategy increases the navigation skills of small flying drones and entails a new hypothesis on insect intelligence. (2021-01-19)

No insect crisis in the Arctic - yet
No insect crisis in the Arctic - yet. Climate change is more pronounced in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet, raising concerns about the ability of wildlife to cope with the new conditions. A new study shows that rare insects are declining, suggesting that climatic changes may favour common species. (2021-01-18)

How insects activate muscles to adapt to limbs removed
Adaptability explains why insects spread so widely and why they are the most abundant animal group on earth. Insects exhibit resilient and flexible locomotion, even with drastic changes in their body structure such as losing a limb. (2021-01-14)

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)

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)

Unsure how to help reverse insect declines? Scientists suggest simple ways
Entomologist Akito Kawahara's message is straightforward: We can't live without insects. They're in trouble. And there's something all of us can do to help. (2021-01-12)

Eurasian eagle owl diet reveals new records of threatened giant bush-crickets
Bird diets provide a real treasure for research into the distribution and conservation of their prey, conclude scientists after studying the Eurasian Eagle Owl in southeastern Bulgaria. In their paper, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Travaux du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle ''Grigore Antipa'', they report the frequent presence of the threatened Big-Bellied Glandular Bush-Cricket, and conclude that studies on the Eurasian Eagle Owl could be used to identify biodiversity-rich areas in need of protection. (2021-01-05)

Silkworm's brain determines diapause by thermal information
Silkworms (Bombyx mori) were found to lay diapause eggs at 25°C and non-diapause eggs at 15°C. Females were observed to determine whether to lay diapause eggs or not according to thermal information received by the embryonic Bombyx TRPA1 ortholog (BmTRPA1). In this study scientists at Shinshu University et al. have elucidated that the neuropeptide corazonin regulates the release of the diapause hormone. (2020-12-21)

Study resolves the position of fleas on the tree of life
A study of more than 1,400 protein-coding genes of fleas has resolved one of the longest standing mysteries in the evolution of insects, reordering their placement in the tree of life and pinpointing who their closest relatives are. (2020-12-20)

Scientists solve 'flea mystery'
Researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) and the University of Bristol in the UK solved the 'Flea Mystery.' (2020-12-20)

How climate change is disrupting ecosystems
When it gets warmer, organisms rise higher from the lowlands. Swiss Researchers investigated what could happen to plant communities on alpine grasslands if grasshoppers from lower elevations settled there. (2020-12-17)

Invasive harlequin ladybird causes severe decline of two-spotted ladybird, new study shows
CABI scientists have led an 11-year study which shows how the invasive harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) caused the severe decline of the two-spotted ladybird on broadleaved trees and shrubs in northern Switzerland. Lead author Dr Marc Kenis, Head of Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology based at CABI's Swiss Centre in Delémont, of the research said the two-spotted ladybird was the most abundant ladybird at the 40 sites surveyed before the harlequin ladybird took hold between 2006 and 2017. (2020-12-14)

Powerhouse plants that bolster the food web
Researchers have identified the most critical plants needed to sustain food webs across the United States. Their study drills down to the top plants in each county and bioregion, illuminating a plan for how to restore ecosystems anywhere in the country. (2020-12-14)

Charles Darwin was right about why insects are losing the ability to fly
Most insects can fly. Yet scores of species have lost that extraordinary ability, particularly on islands. (2020-12-09)

Caterpillars mimic leaves or offer rewards for protection by ants
Study reveals different forms of interaction between insect groups: while some caterpillar species have bodies covered with molecules identical to those of the plants they inhabit and are 'invisible' to ants, others offer ants nectar in exchange for protection from predators (2020-12-09)

How the insect got its wings: Scientists (at last!) tell the tale
How insect wings evolved has puzzled biologists for over a century. Finally, a team from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, has shown that the insect wing evolved from an outgrowth on the crustacean leg that was incorporated into the animal's body wall. (2020-12-01)

After 100 years, Cornell University plant pathologists revisit fire blight hypothesis
Historically credited as being the first bacterium ever characterized as a plant pathogen, fire blight is a bacterial disease that leads to significant losses of pear and apple. The role of insects in the spread of this disease has been long studied. In a new study, plant pathologists based at Cornell University and Cornell AgriTech take a hypothesis that has been more or less ignored for 100 years and provided support for its validity. (2020-12-01)

The microbiome of Da Vinci's drawings
The microbiome study of seven drawings from Leonardo Da Vinci reveals that conservation work, geographical location, and past contaminations leave invisible traces on drawings despite their optimal storage conditions: a novel aspect of art objects that could be monitored to establish a bioarchive of our artistic heritage. (2020-11-20)

Study finds health trade-offs for wildlife as urbanization expands
City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off - health hazards linked to poorer water quality. (2020-11-18)

Solitary bees are born with a functional internal clock - unlike honeybees
Individuals of the solitary bee Osmia bicornis show a 24-h behavioral cycle as soon as they emerge, unlike young honeybee workers who need to perform brood care around the clock and only develop a daily cycle later in life. This is reflected in a difference in the rate of brain development: in O. bicornis, but not in honeybees, neurons producing the ''pacemaker'' neuromodulator PDF are already maximally active immediately upon emergence. Sociality seems to have promoted a delay in maturation of the internal clock. (2020-11-16)

High temperatures threaten the survival of insects
Insects have difficulties handling the higher temperatures brought on by climate change, and might risk overheating. The ability to reproduce is also strongly affected by rising temperatures, even in northern areas of the world, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden. (2020-11-10)

Dietary overlap of birds, bats and dragonflies disadvantageous in insect decline
According to a new Finnish study, different groups of insectivores compete for the same type of food. Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, and the Finnish Museum of Natural History made a discovery by comparing birds, bats and dragonflies that forage in the same area in Southwest Finland. These very distantly related predators consumed the same insect groups. The results shed new light on the decline in insect populations. (2020-11-10)

Nervous systems of insects inspire efficient future AI systems
Study explores functions of fruit fly's nervous system in food seeking / results valuable for the development and control of artificial intelligence. (2020-11-05)

Cockroach mating habits and developmental features help uncover insect evolution
A research team led by the University of Tsukuba examined the mating habits of an often-overlooked cockroach family, Nocticolidae, to provide clues about insect evolution. Although the studied cockroaches displayed novel wing-flapping behavior prior to copulation, similarities in other mating habits, egg sac handling, and embryonic development between Nocticolidae and sister family Corydiidae suggested that the two groups share a common ancestor. Elucidating these relationships will help infer the evolutionary history of modern-day insects. (2020-11-05)

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