Current Termites News and Events

Current Termites News and Events, Termites News Articles.
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Constructing termite turrets without a blueprint
Following a series of studies on termite mound physiology and morphogenesis over the past decade, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have now developed a mathematical model to help explain how termites construct their intricate mounds. (2021-01-19)

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)

"Helper" ambrosia beetles share reproduction with their mother
A new study shows for the first time that Xyleborus affinis beetles are cooperative breeders, where females disperse to found new nests or stay to help their mother raise siblings, while also reproducing themselves. They grow an asexual Raffaella fungus alongside their nest galleries, apparently their only source of food. (2020-11-04)

Beetles cooperate in brood care
Ambrosia beetles are fascinating: they practice agriculture with fungi and they live in a highly developed social system. Biologist Peter Biedermann has now discovered new facts about them. (2020-11-04)

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)

Salute the venerable ensign wasp, killing cockroaches for 25 million years
An Oregon State University study has identified four new species of parasitic, cockroach-killing ensign wasps that became encased in tree resin 25 million years ago and were preserved as the resin fossilized into amber. (2020-09-28)

A chiral surprise in the rainforest
Reversed ratio of chiral volatile organic compounds over the Amazon rainforest reveal insects as unexplored important source of forest emissions. (2020-08-27)

Termite-fishing chimpanzees provide clues to the evolution of technology
Unlike chimpanzees in East and West Africa, who use a single tool to extract termites, chimpanzees in Central Africa's Congo Basin use tool sets--puncturing sticks or perforating twigs plus fishing probes--to harvest the insects from underground nests or towering earthen mounds scattered across lowland forests. (2020-08-19)

Daytime aardvark sightings are a sign of troubled times
New research by the team from Wits, with collaborators from the University of Cape Town and University of Pretoria, reveals what a shift from night-time to daytime activity means for the well-being of aardvarks in a warming and drying world. (2020-07-09)

'Fang'tastic: researchers report amphibians with snake-like dental glands
Utah State University biologist Edmund 'Butch' Brodie, Jr. and colleagues from Brazil's Butantan Institute describe oral glands in a family of terrestrial caecilians, serpent-like amphibians related to frogs and salamanders. (2020-07-03)

Rare South American ground beetles sport unusual, likely multi-purpose antennal cleaners
After 157 years since the description of the South American genus of strange-combed beetles, Nototylus, a second specimen finally has been discovered. Published in the open-access scholarly journal ZooKeys as a species new to science, the beetle comes to address some over a century-old debates, including whether or not strange-combed beetles possess a feature distinct for ground beetles, why that might be, and whether or not they are indeed ground beetles at all. (2020-04-20)

Unexpected ways animals influence fires
Animals eating plants might seem like an obvious way to suppress fire, and humans are already using the enormous appetites of goats, deer, and cows to reduce the fuel available for potential wildfires. But other animals such as birds, termites, and elephants can also double as ecosystem engineers as they go about their day-to-day grass-chewing, track-making, or nest-building. Researchers describe these activities March 5 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution. (2020-03-05)

Sanitary care by social ants shapes disease outcome
Sanitary care in ants to fight disease is known to improve the wellbeing of the colony, yet it has been unclear how social disease defense interferes with pathogen competition inside the individual host body. In their recent study published in Ecology Letters, Sylvia Cremer and her research group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) revealed that collective care-giving has the power to bias the outcome of coinfections in fungus-exposed colony members. (2020-01-17)

Chimpanzees more likely to share tools, teach skills when task is complex
A new study finds that chimpanzees that use a multi-step process and complex tools to gather termites are more likely to share tools with novices. The study helps illuminate chimpanzees' capacity for prosocial -- or helping -- behavior, a quality that has been recognized for its potential role in the evolution of human cultural abilities. (2019-12-23)

Uncovering how endangered pangolins, or 'scaly anteaters,' digest food
The endangered Sunda pangolin, or 'scaly anteater,' is a widely trafficked mammal, prized in some cultures for its meat and scales. Little is known about these animals, and raising rescued pangolins is tricky. In the wild, they eat termites and ants, but diets provided in captivity often make them sick. Now, a study in ACS Omega reports that pangolins lack some common digestive enzymes, which could explain why some diets don't work well for them. (2019-12-11)

In hunted rainforests, termites lose their dominance
Termite populations in African rainforests decline sharply when elephants and other large animals disappear. Reduced dung and deadwood after large herbivores are hunted out may harm the forest's 'ecosystem engineers.' (2019-12-02)

16-million-year-old fossil shows springtails hitchhiking on winged termite
A newly reported, 16-million-year-old fossil is shedding light on how a group of tiny arthropods may have traversed the globe -- by hitchhiking. (2019-11-25)

Phylogenetic analysis forces rethink of termite evolution
Despite their important ecological role as decomposers, termites are often overlooked in research. Evolutionary biologists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have constructed a new family tree for this unassuming insect brood, shedding unexpected light on its evolutionary history. (2019-10-17)

Hard-working termites crucial to forest, wetland ecosystems
Soil bedding increases microbial and termite decomposition activity (2019-08-14)

Soil communities threatened by destruction, instability of Amazon forests
A meta-analysis of nearly 300 studies of soil biodiversity in Amazonian forests found that the abundance, biomass, richness and diversity of soil fauna and microbes were reduced following deforestation. (2019-05-24)

New species of wood-munching (and phallic-looking) clams found at the bottom of the ocean
Wood-boring clams are tiny clams that eat (and live in) sunken wood at the bottom of the ocean, and they have long, tube-shaped organs that they use to breathe called siphons sticking out of their shells. Scientists have just updated the wood-boring clam family tree, adding a new species and three new genus groups. They're all pretty.... phallic-looking. (2019-04-02)

X-rays reveal termites' self-cooling, self-ventilating, self-draining skyscrapers
New insight into termites' architectural strategies could help us design more energy efficient self-sustaining buildings for humans. (2019-03-22)

Human impacts erode behavioral diversity in chimpanzees
Much of the variation in the behavior among wild chimpanzee groups may be akin to 'cultural' variation in humans. Behavioral diversity is also a facet of biodiversity, but has not been considered as an additional concern until recently. Recent analysis revealed a strong and robust pattern -- chimpanzee behavioral diversity was reduced by 88 percent when human impact was highest compared to locations with the least human impact. (2019-03-07)

Researchers get to the bottom of fairy circles
Fairy circles are round gaps in arid grassland that are distributed very uniformly over the landscape and only occur along the Namib Desert in southern Africa and in parts of Australia. Scientists from the University of Göttingen, Australia and Israel have got to the bottom of this with soil investigations and drones. The results suggest Australian fairy circles were caused by processes like the weathering of the soil by heavy rainfall, extreme heat and evaporation. (2019-02-21)

World's biggest bee found
Lost to science for decades and thought perhaps extinct, Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) has been rediscovered in an Indonesian rainforest. (2019-02-21)

Termites shape and are shaped by their mounds
Termite construction projects have no architects, engineers or foremen, and yet these centimeter-sized insects build complex, meter-sized structures all over the world. Harvard researchers demonstrate how simple rules linking environmental physics and animal behavior can give rise to these structures. Their research sheds lights on broader questions of swarm intelligence and may serve as inspiration for designing more sustainable human architecture. (2019-02-11)

Revealed: Termites mitigate effects of drought in tropical rainforests
A major new study by the University of Liverpool and the Natural History Museum has discovered that termites mitigate against the effects of drought in tropical rain forests. Researchers from both institutions undertook the first large-scale study to test the hypothesis that termites play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem processes in rainforests during periods of drought. (2019-01-10)

How forest termites protect tropical forests from drought
The efforts of tiny forest termites have a big effect on the harmful ecological effects of drought in tropical rainforests, according to a new study, which reveals their important role in maintaining ecosystem function during periods of extended aridity. (2019-01-10)

Termites mitigate effects of drought in Tropical Rainforest
Termites are commonly regarded as one of the most destructive insect pests, yet its unknown side was recently revealed by a major new study published in the prestigious journal Science -- the collaborative research co-led by Dr Louise Ashton of the University of Hong Kong, with researchers from the University of Liverpool and the Natural History Museum, London, has discovered that termites actually help mitigate against the effects of drought in tropical rain forests. (2019-01-10)

Why a curious crustacean could hold secret to making renewable energy from wood
Scientists studying gribble -- a curious wood-eating crustacean -- have discovered how they are able to digest wood despite being the only known animal to have a sterile digestive system. The discovery may help to develop cheaper and more sustainable tools for converting wood into biofuel in the future. (2018-12-03)

4,000-year-old termite mounds found in Brazil are visible from space
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on Nov. 19 have found that a vast array of regularly spaced, still-inhabited termite mounds in northeastern Brazil--covering an area the size of Great Britain -- are up to about 4,000 years old. (2018-11-19)

The first drywood termite known to use snapping stick-like mandibles to defend its colony
First-of-a-kind new species and genus of drywood termite was collected from two localities in Cameroon. With its soldier caste sporting a unique set of long, slender, stick-like 'jaws', the previously unknown insect is the first drywood termite known to rely on the so-called snapping mandibles as a defense strategy. The discovery, published in the open access journal ZooKeys, poses a whole set of questions about the origin of the termite and its key feature. (2018-10-02)

Some female termites can reproduce without males
Populations of the termite species Glyptotermes nakajimai can form successful, reproducing colonies in absence of males, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Biology. (2018-09-24)

Advanced animal society thrives without males
Termite colonies have been found to thrive and reproduce without males, new research from the University of Sydney reveals. The findings provide new evidence that males aren't required to maintain some advanced animal populations. They add momentum to questions about the impact and function of males in animal societies. (2018-09-24)

One foot in the grave for pheasants that favor a side
Pheasants that more strongly favored one foot over the other die younger than those that don't, new research suggests. (2018-09-13)

Rough terrain? No problem for beaver-inspired autonomous robot
University at Buffalo researchers are using stigmergy, a biological phenomenon that has been used to explain everything from the behavior of termites and beavers to the popularity of Wikipedia, to build new problem-solving autonomous robots. (2018-06-27)

Tiny termite house: How termites destroy from the inside out
The National Pest Management Association has revealed a high-definition, behind-the-walls look at the destructive nature of termites through the Tiny Termite House, a first-of-its-kind, groundbreaking research study and video production. (2018-06-13)

Matabele ants: Travelling faster with detours
Ants do not always take the shortest route when they are in a hurry. Their navigational system occasionally makes them take detours to speed up their journey. (2018-05-18)

Termite queen, king recognition pheromone identified
Forget the bows and curtsies. Worker termites shake in the presence of their queens and kings. New research explains how these workers smell a royal presence. (2018-03-19)

Fussy eating prevents mongoose family feuds
Mongooses living in large groups develop 'specialist' diets so they don't have to fight over food, new research shows. (2018-03-14)

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