Current Wasp News and Events

Current Wasp News and Events, Wasp News Articles.
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New dating techniques reveal Australia's oldest known rock painting, and it's a kangaroo
Researchers successfully date Australia's oldest intact rock painting, using pioneering radiocarbon technique. (2021-02-22)

Tropical paper wasps babysit for neighbours
Wasps provide crucial support to their extended families by babysitting at neighbouring nests, according to new research by a team of biologists from the universities of Bristol, Exeter and UCL published today [15 February] in Nature Ecology and Evolution. (2021-02-15)

Researchers identify a new molecular mechanism related to severe anaphylaxis
In a study led by researchers of the University of Barcelona and IDIBAPS, researchers analyzed the mutation of a gen detected in a patient who suffered from recurrent anaphylactic shocks caused by the allergy to paper wasp venom (Polistes dominula). The results, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, revealed a new molecular mechanism that can control the degree of severity in an anaphylactic reaction. (2021-02-09)

How to blackmail your family
Raising kids can be tough, and sometimes you need all the help you can get. Biologists at the University of Bristol argue that some animals might be able to blackmail reluctant relatives into assisting with the rearing of young. The study is published today [2 February] in The American Naturalist. (2021-02-02)

Pollinator host-switches and fig hybridization dominate fig-wasp coevolution
Together with colleagues from 11 institutions from home and abroad, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently shown that the fig hybridization mediated by pollinator host-switching in the obligate fig-wasp pollination system is more common than previously thought. (2021-02-02)

Astronomers discover first cloudless, Jupiter-like planet
Astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian have detected the first Jupiter-like planet without clouds or haze in its observable atmosphere. The findings were published this month in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. (2021-01-21)

A 'super-puff' planet like no other
A Canadian-led team of astronomers discovers that the core mass of exoplanet WASP-107b is much lower than previously thought possible for a gas-giant planet. (2021-01-18)

Keyhole wasps may threaten aviation safety
Over a period of 39 months, invasive keyhole wasps (Pachodynerus nasidens) at the Brisbane Airport were responsible for 93 instances of fully blocked replica pitot probes - vital instruments that measure airspeed -- according to a study published November 25 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alan House of Eco Logical Australia and colleagues. As noted by the authors, the results underscore the importance of risk-mitigating strategies, such as covering pitot probes when aircraft arrive and setting up additional traps to intercept the wasps. (2020-11-25)

Death from below: the first video of a parasitic wasp attacking caterpillar underwater
A previously unknown species of Japanese parasitic wasp was observed and filmed to dive underwater to parasitize moth caterpillars. This is the first known case of such behaviour for the subfamily Microgastrinae. The unique video is featured in the original description of the species, named Microgaster godzilla, because its emergence out of the water reminded the scientists of the Japanese iconic fictional monster Godzilla. The study was published in the open-access Journal of Hymenoptera Research. (2020-11-04)

Discovery adds new species to Rice lab's ghoulish insect menagerie
A horrifying insect soap opera with vampires, mummies and infant-eating parasites plays out on the stems and leaves of oak trees every day, and Rice University evolutionary biologist Scott Egan found the latest player, a new species of predatory wasp, within walking distance of his lab. (2020-10-26)

Penn Medicine scientists engineer bacteria-killing molecules from wasp venom
A team led by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has engineered powerful new antimicrobial molecules from toxic proteins found in wasp venom. The team hopes to develop the molecules into new bacteria-killing drugs, an important advancement considering increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (2020-10-12)

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)

Genomic study reveals evolutionary secrets of banyan tree
The banyan fig tree Ficus microcarpa is famous for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil. The tree also has a unique relationship with a wasp that has coevolved with it and is the only insect that can pollinate it. In a new study, researchers identify regions in the banyan fig's genome that promote the development of its unusual aerial roots and enhance its ability to signal its wasp pollinator. (2020-10-08)

Vaporized metal in the air of an exoplanet
An international team of researchers led by the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva studied the atmosphere of the ultra-hot exoplanet WASP-121b. In it, they found a number of gaseous metals. The results are a next step in the search for potentially habitable worlds. (2020-10-08)

Wasp egg-laying organ inspires new tool to reduce trauma in minimally invasive surgery
A new surgery tool based on the egg-laying organ of parasitic wasps could advance minimally invasive surgery by enabling tissue removal in deeper areas of the body while further minimising trauma and patient recovery time. Researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands based their prototype on the ovipositor of wasps, an ultra-thin flexible organ, which uses friction forces generated by sliding internal blades to achieve efficient transport on a small scale. (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)

First study with CHEOPS data describes one of the most extreme planets in the universe
CHEOPS keeps its promise: Observations with the space telescope reveal details of the exoplanet WASP-189b - one of the most extreme planets known. CHEOPS is a joint mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Switzerland, under the aegis of the University of Bern in collaboration with the University of Geneva. (2020-09-28)

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)

Unprecedented ground-based discovery of 2 strongly interacting exoplanets
Several interacting exoplanets have already been spotted by satellites. But a new breakthrough has been achieved with, for the first time, the detection directly from the ground of an extrasolar system of this type. An international collaboration including CNRS researchers has discovered an unusual planetary system, dubbed WASP-148, using the French instrument SOPHIE at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université;). (2020-07-02)

Researchers from University of Turku have described over 40 new species in 2020
The researchers at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku are specialised in studying poorly known species habiting some of the most remote places on earth. As a result of their scientific expeditions, the researchers constantly discover species that are unknown to science. One of the most recent discoveries is a spider which was named after actor Joaquin Phoenix and his famous portrayal of the Joker character. (2020-07-01)

Tiny brains, big surprise: Eavesdropping wasps gain insights about fighting abilities of potential rivals
Paper wasps eavesdrop on fighting rivals to rapidly assess potential opponents without personal risk. This new finding adds to mounting evidence that even mini-brained insects have an impressive capacity to learn, remember and make social deductions about others. (2020-06-25)

Parasitic wasp discovery offers chemical-free pest control for growers
A species of parasitic wasp discovered by chance could provide growers with a chemical-free way of controlling a major pest. (2020-05-22)

Predators help prey adapt to an uncertain future
What effect does extinction of species have on the evolution of surviving species? Evolutionary biologists have investigated this question by conducting a field experiment with a leaf galling fly and its predatory enemies. They found that losing its natural enemies could make it more difficult for the prey to adapt to future environments. (2020-05-04)

Ultrathin but fully packaged high-resolution camera
The unique structures of biological vision systems in nature inspired scientists to design ultracompact imaging systems. A research group led by Professor Ki-Hun Jeong have made an ultracompact camera that captures high-contrast and high-resolution images. Fully packaged with micro-optical elements such as inverted micro-lenses, multilayered pinhole arrays, and gap spacers on the image sensor, the camera boasts a total track length of 740 μm and a field of view of 73°. (2020-03-23)

ESO telescope observes exoplanet where it rains iron
Researchers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have observed an extreme planet where they suspect it rains iron. The ultra-hot giant exoplanet has a day side where temperatures climb above 2400 degrees Celsius, high enough to vaporize metals. Strong winds carry iron vapor to the cooler night side where it condenses into iron droplets. (2020-03-11)

Observed: An exoplanet where it rains iron
Nature magazine is publishing today a surprising study about the giant, ultra-hot planet WASP-76b in which researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have taken part. (2020-03-11)

Diversifying traditional forest management to protect forest arthropods
The structure of vegetation and steam distance are important factors to consider in order to protect the biodiversity of forest arthropods, as stated in an article now published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management. The conclusions of the study note the farther we are from a river course, the better conditions for the communities of arthropods in the forests, since they need a cool and wet microclimate. (2020-02-20)

Fossilized insect from 100 million years ago is oldest record of primitive bee with pollen
Beetle parasites clinging to a primitive bee 100 million years ago may have caused the flight error that, while deadly for the insect, is a boon for science today. (2020-02-12)

Wasp nests used to date ancient Kimberley rock art
Mud wasp nests collected from Kimberley sites with the permission of traditional owners help scientists establish ancient art rock unique to the area is 12,000 years old not 17,000 years old (2020-02-05)

Wasps' gut microbes help them -- and their offspring -- survive pesticides
Exposure to the widely used pesticide atrazine leads to heritable changes in the gut microbiome of wasps, finds a study publishing Feb. 4 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Additionally, the altered microbiome confers atrazine resistance, which is inherited across successive generations not exposed to the pesticide. (2020-02-04)

'Profound' evolution: Wasps learn to recognize faces
One wasp species has evolved the ability to recognize individual faces among their peers -- something that most other insects cannot do -- signaling an evolution in how they have learned to work together. (2020-01-27)

New parasitoid wasp species discovered in the Amazon -- can manipulate host's behavior
A research group from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku studies the diversity of parasitoid insects around the world. Parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) are one of the most species rich animal taxa on Earth, but their tropical diversity is still poorly known. In the latest study, the group discovered 15 new, sizable species that parasitize spiders in the lowland rainforests of the Amazon and the cloud forests of the Andes. (2020-01-14)

Planet WASP-12b is on a death spiral, say Princeton scientists
A Princeton-led team of astrophysicists has shown that exoplanet WASP-12b, located 600 light-years away, is spiraling in toward certain destruction in about 3 million years. 'Ever since the discovery of the first 'hot Jupiter' in 1995 -- a discovery that was recognized with this year's Nobel Prize in Physics -- we have wondered how long such planets can survive,' said Prof. Joshua Winn. (2020-01-08)

Unlikely wasp enemy of a serious alien pest in North America named Idris elba
Idris is a worldwide genus of microscopic, parasitic wasps. A new species of Idris from Mexico (Guanajuato) and the United States (California, New Mexico) proved to be an unlikely enemy of the invasive bagrada bug, a major pest of various crops, including cruciferous vegetables. Described in the peer-reviewed, open-access Journal of Hymenoptera Research, this species is given the name 'elba,' making its name identical to that of British movie star Idris Elba. (2019-11-18)

First South American insect that emits blue light is discovered
Larvae of a fungus gnat found in Iporanga, São Paulo State, Brazil, have bioluminescent properties previously observed only in species native to North America, New Zealand and Asia. This study paves the way for new biotech applications. (2019-10-30)

Scientists discover new species of wasp-mimicking praying mantis
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Director of Research and Collections Dr. Gavin Svenson has described a new species of praying mantis that displays the first documented example of conspicuous mimicking of a wasp among praying mantises. (2019-10-17)

New large-sized insect species discovered in tropical forest
Scientists at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland have studied the diversity of tropical parasitoid wasps for years. Parasitoid wasps are among the most species rich animal taxa on Earth, but their tropical diversity is still poorly known. Recently, the research group sampled Afrotropical rhyssine wasps, which are among the largest wasps. Scientists from three countries and research institutes participated in the research led by the University of Turku research group. (2019-10-08)

Hints of a volcanically active exomoon
A rocky extrasolar moon (exomoon) with bubbling lava may orbit a planet 550 light-years away from us. This is suggested by an international team of researchers led by the University of Bern on the basis of theoretical predictions matching observations. The 'exo-Io' would appear to be an extreme version of Jupiter's moon Io. (2019-08-29)

New information on tropical parasitoid insects revealed
The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are the most rich in species. However, the tropical species are still very poorly known. Understanding the diversity of parasitoid wasps inhabiting rainforests is important, because tropical biodiversity is dwindling at an accelerating rate. (2019-08-14)

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