Current Wasps News and Events

Current Wasps News and Events, Wasps News Articles.
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Pioneering research reveals gardens are secret powerhouse for pollinators
Home gardens are by far the biggest source of food for pollinating insects, including bees and wasps, in cities and towns, according to new research. (2021-02-21)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Losing flight had huge benefits for ants, finds new study
Researchers have taken detailed scans of worker ants to examine the hypothesis that the loss of flight is directly connected to the evolution of strength. (2020-10-18)

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)

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)

Hand pollination, not agrochemicals, increases cocoa yield and farmer income
Agroecologists from Göttingen University compare pesticides, fertilisers, manual pollination and farming costs in Indonesia (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)

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)

Climate change recasts the insect communities of the Arctic
Through a unique research collaboration, researchers at the University of Helsinki have exposed major changes taking place in the insect communities of the Arctic. Their study reveals how climate change is affecting small but important predators of other insects, i.e. parasitoids. (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)

Study shows inbreeding reduces cooperation in banded mongooses
Inbreeding can reduce cooperation in banded mongooses according to a recent study by researchers. (2020-08-11)

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)

Amber fossils unlock true color of 99-million-year-old insects
A research team from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) has now unlocked the secrets of true coloration in the 99-million-year-old insects. (2020-06-30)

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)

All microgastrinae wasps from around the world finally together in a 1,089-page monograph
With 3,000 known species and thousands more left to describe, the wasps of the subfamily Microgastrinae are the single most important group of parasitoids attacking the larvae of butterflies and moths, many of which are economically important pests. Consequently, these wasps have a significant impact on both the world's economy and biodiversity. All currently available information about the group is now brought together in a monograph published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys. (2020-03-24)

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)

Biologically inspired ultrathin arrayed camera for high-contrast and high-resolution imaging
The vision systems in nature provide intriguing optical design inspiration for ultracompact imaging systems. Scientists in South Korea have now demonstrated a fully packaged ultrathin insect-eye camera, which offers high contrast and super-resolution imaging by using new optical materials and techniques. This ultrathin arrayed camera could give practical use in mobile devices, advanced surveillance vehicle and endoscopes without technical reservation. (2020-03-03)

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)

Pollinating opossums confirm decades-long theory
In Brazil there is a plant so strange that researchers predicted -- and 27 years later, proved -- that opossums are key to its pollination. The findings are published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecology. (2020-02-12)

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)

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)

Ancient wasp-mimicking fly from South Korea named after PSY's 'Gangnam Style'
Russian and South Korean paleontologists discovered a new species of extinct pollinating flies, which lived during the first half of the Cretaceous period, about 110 million years ago, when the angiosperm radiation occurred. As evident from their long proboscis, these insects were nectar feeders and probably fed on the first flowers or cones of entomophilous gymnosperms. Like many modern flower-visiting flies, newly described fossils mimicked stinging wasps to scare off predators, while actually they posed no danger. (2019-12-21)

Bark beetles control pathogenic fungi
Pathogens can drive the evolution of social behaviour in insects. This is shown by researchers from Bern and Würzburg for ambrosia beetles. (2019-12-20)

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)

New parents? Tired of nighttime feedings? Bees can relate
Bumble bees tasked with caring for larvae and pupae sleep less than colony members who do not care for the young. The findings join a growing body of evidence showing that many animals give up sleep, including birds during seasonal migrations, male birds and fruit flies that forgo sleep to give themselves more time to mate and cavefish that require less sleep than related species of fish that live in open water habitats. (2019-10-03)

Decoding the scent of a plant
A recent study led by Dr. Radhika Venkatesan has identified that herbivores are capable of decoding the scent of a plant and using these cues to brace up their immunity. (2019-08-16)

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)

Revolutionary method could bring us much closer to the description of hyperdiverse faunas
Largely relying on DNA barcoding, rather than traditional practices, a simplified diagnostics method for species description could be the key to revealing Earth's biodiversity before much of it goes extinct. Proposed by a US-Canadian research team in a new publication in the open-access journal Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, the approach is demonstrated in practice with the description of 18 new to science species of parasitic wasps, recently discovered from the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. (2019-07-25)

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