Current Moths News and Events

Current Moths News and Events, Moths News Articles.
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Moths strike out in evolutionary arms race with sophisticated wing design
Ultra-thin, super-absorbent and extraordinarily designed to detract attention, the wings of moths could hold the key for developing technological solutions to survive in a noisy world. (2020-11-23)

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)

Silk offers homemade solution for COVID-19 prevention
A University of Cincinnati biology study found that silk fabric performs similarly to surgical masks when used in conjunction with respirators but has the added advantages of being washable and repelling water, which would translate to helping to keep a person safer from the airborne virus. (2020-09-22)

Anti-reflective coating inspired by fly eyes
The eyes of the fruit fly are covered by a thin and transparent coating with anti-reflective, anti-adhesive properties. Researchers from the University of Geneva and Lausanne discovered that the coating only consists of two ingredients: retinin and corneal wax. They succeeded in artificially reproducing the phenomenon on different kinds of surface. This process, which is very inexpensive and is based on biodegradable materials, could have numerous applications for contact lenses, medical implants and textiles. (2020-09-16)

Diamondback moth uses plant defense substances as oviposition cues
Researchers showed that isothiocyanates produced by cruciferous plants to fend off pests serve as oviposition cues. The scientists identified two olfactory receptors whose sole function is to detect these defense substances and to guide female moths to the ideal sites to lay their eggs. They uncovered the molecular mechanism that explains why some insects that specialize in feeding on certain host plants are attracted by substances that are supposed to keep pests away. (2020-09-10)

Air pollution renders flower odors unattractive to moths
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and the University of Virginia, USA, showed that tobacco hawkmoths lost attraction to the scent of their preferred flowers when that scent had been altered by ozone. This oxidizing pollutant thus disturbs the chemical communication between a plant and its pollinator. However, when given the chance, hawkmoths quickly learn that an unpleasantly polluted scent may lead to nutritious nectar. (2020-09-04)

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)

Peculiar behavior of the beetle Toramus larvae
When studying the larval morphology of Toramini (Coleoptera: Erotylidae) we found that larvae of the genus Toramus attach their exuviae to their distal abdomen, with each exuvia from the preceding instar attached to the next to form a vertical pile. Exuvial attachment is facilitated by modified hook-like setae with flattened shafts inserted into the exuvia of the previous instar. We discuss the possibility that the exuvial attachment serves as a kind of autotomy -- ''exuvial autotomy''. (2020-05-21)

How some insects manage to halt their own growth in harsh conditions
Most insects alter their own development or physiology to overcome adverse conditions, such as harsh winters. Although day length and temperature are known to regulate this change, exactly how this process occurs is not very clear yet. In a collaborative study, a research group from Okayama University, Tokushima University, and Pompeu Fabra University showed how a specific insect undergoes seasonal adaptation in its immature state. (2020-05-19)

Lidar technology demonstrates how light levels determine mosquito 'rush hour'
The first study to remotely track wild mosquito populations using laser radar (lidar) technology found that mosquitoes in a southeastern Tanzanian village are most active during morning and evening 'rush hour' periods, suggesting these may be the most effective times to target the insects with sprays designed to prevent the spread of malaria. (2020-05-13)

Lyin' eyes: Butterfly, moth eyespots may look the same, but likely evolved separately
The iconic eyespots that some moths and butterflies use to ward off predators likely evolved in distinct ways, providing insights into how these insects became so diverse. (2020-05-06)

New species of moths discovered in the Alps named after three famous alpinists
During a genetic project of the Tyrolean State Museums in Innsbruck, Austrian entomologist and head of the Natural Science Collections Peter Huemer used an integrative research approach to study four long-known, yet controversial European moths. It turned out that he was not dealing with four, but seven species. Those three previously unknown moths were described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Alpine Entomology under the names of legendary alpinists Reinhold Messner, Peter Habeler and David Lama. (2020-04-27)

Why do men -- and other male animals -- tend to die younger? It's all in the Y chromosome
Males of most animal species die earlier than females because their smaller Y chromosome is unable to protect an unhealthy X chromosome, research suggests. (2020-03-03)

Deaf moths evolved noise-cancelling scales to evade prey
Some species of deaf moths can absorb as much as 85 per cent of the incoming sound energy from predatory bats -- who use echolocation to detect them. The findings, published in Royal Society Interface today, reveal the moths, who are unable to hear the ultrasonic calls of bats, have evolved this clever defensive strategy to help it survive. (2020-02-25)

Enigmatic small primate finally caught on film in Taita, Kenya
The Taita mountain dwarf galago was first reported in 2002 but no more signs of it were found for almost 20 years. (2020-02-17)

Climate warming disrupts tree seed production
Research involving the University of Liverpool has revealed the effect of climate warming on the complex interactions between tree masting and the insects that eat their seeds. (2020-02-12)

Orb-weaver spiders' yellow and black pattern helps them lure prey
Being inconspicuous might seem the best strategy for spiders to catch potential prey in their webs, but many orb-web spiders, which hunt in this way, are brightly coloured. New research finds their distinct yellow and black pattern is actually essential in luring prey. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society journal: Functional Ecology. (2020-02-11)

First release of genetically engineered moth could herald new era of crop protection
For decades, the agriculture industry has been trying to find biological and environmentally friendly ways to manage the diamondback moth, which is widely resistant to insecticides. To combat this, a newly engineered strain of an insect pest performs well in US field trials conducted by Cornell University. Results show promise for future biotech crop protection applications and a potential solution to a global, multi-billion dollar agricultural pest. (2020-01-29)

Moths' flight data helps drones navigate complex environments
The flight navigation strategy of moths can be used to develop programs that help drones to navigate unfamiliar environments, report Ioannis Paschalidis at Boston University, Thomas Daniel at University of Washington, and colleagues, in the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology. (2020-01-09)

Moths and perhaps other animals rely on precise timing of neural spikes
By capturing and analyzing nearly all of the brain signals sent to the wing muscles of hawk moths (Manduca sexta), researchers have shown that precise timing within rapid sequences of neural signal spikes is essential to controlling the flight muscles necessary for the moths to eat. (2019-12-17)

Lazy moths taste disgusting
Researchers have noticed that some moths are nonchalant when attacked by predatory bats. Their new study illuminates the reasons for this counterintuitive behavior. Research revealed that less appetizing moths are more nonchalant when attacked by bats, whereas more palatable moths employ midair evasive maneuvers. By estimating the palatability of moth species, the researchers could predict their evasive/nonchalant behaviors. The technique may be applicable to rare or even extinct species. (2019-12-16)

Research explores how grape pests sniff out berries
A new study, published Nov. 21 in the Journal of Chemical Ecology, investigates how these pests find their target amid a sea of other plants in the landscape. (2019-12-10)

Four ways to curb light pollution, save bugs
Artificial light at night negatively impacts thousands of species: beetles, moths, wasps and other insects that have evolved to use light levels as cues for courtship, foraging and navigation. Writing in the scientific journal Biological Conservation, Brett Seymoure, the Grossman Family Postdoctoral Fellow of the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University in St. Louis, and his collaborators reviewed 229 studies to document the myriad ways that light alters the living environment such that insects are unable to carry out crucial biological functions. (2019-11-18)

Scientists identify British butterflies most threatened by climate change
Many British butterflies and moths have been responding to warmer temperatures by emerging earlier in the year and for the first time scientists have identified why this is creating winners and losers among species. (2019-10-24)

Industrial melanism linked to same gene in 3 moth species
The rise of dark forms of many species of moth in heavily polluted areas of 19th and 20th century Britain, known as industrial melanism, was a highly visible response to environmental change. But did the different species rely on the same gene to adapt? New research by the University of Liverpool reveals that three species of moth, including the famous peppered moth, indeed did. (2019-10-17)

When laying their eggs, tobacco hawkmoths avoid plants that smell of caterpillar feces
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology demonstrated that not only plant odors determine the best oviposition site for egglaying hawkmoths, but also the frass of other larvae. They specified the repelling substance in the feces which signals the presence of competing conspecifics. Moreover, the researchers identified an odorant receptor which is involved in the detection of the typical smell of larval frass and thereby governs competition avoidance during oviposition. (2019-10-08)

Bats use private and social information as they hunt
As some of the most savvy and sophisticated predators out there, bats eavesdrop on their prey and even on other bats to collect a wide variety of information as they hunt. (2019-09-24)

Paleontologists discovered diversity of insect pollinators in 99-million-year-old amber
A team of paleontologists from the Borissiak Paleontological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) discovered four new species of extinct insects with sucking mouthparts in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. Researchers believe that they visited first angiosperm flowers, but eventually went extinct due to the inefficient design of the proboscis. According to the research, Paradoxosisyrinae, the group to which these creatures belong, is a kind of 'Nature's failed experiment.' The results of the study are published in the Cretaceous Research journal. (2019-08-28)

Two new species of parasitic wasps described from an altitude of over 3,400 m in Tibet
Specimens kept in the collection of the Institute of Beneficial Insects at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (China) revealed the existence of two previously unknown species of endoparasitic wasps. Looking very similar to each other, yet clearly distinct from species in other wasp genera, both have once been collected from prairies and bushes in high-altitude areas in Tibet, China. They are described and illustrated in the open-access journal ZooKeys. (2019-07-03)

The chemical language of plants depends on context
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, studied the ecological function of linalool in Nicotiana attenuata tobacco plants. They found the gene responsible for linalool synthesis and release which vary considerably in plants of the same species. Behavioral assays with tobacco hawkmoths in increasingly complex environments showed that the effects of linalool on the moths are quite variable, depending on the natural environment and the genetic makeup of the plant. (2019-07-01)

God doesn't play dice -- does cancer?
Colorado study suggests that changes to the tissue ecosystem and not necessarily mutations allows growth of cancer. (2019-06-20)

New to science New Zealand moths link mythological deities to James Cameron's films
In an unexpected discovery, two species of macro-moths were described as new species endemic to the South Island, New Zealand. Each is restricted to only a couple of subalpine/alpine localities, which makes them particularly vulnerable to extinction, point out the scientists. Described in the open-access journal Alpine Entomology, the insects were named A. titanica and A. avatar simultaneously in reference to mythological deities and the top-grossing blockbusters by James Cameron: Titanic and Avatar. (2019-06-11)

Four new species of plume moths discovered in Bahamas
Deborah Matthews hunts for plume moths in darkness, waiting for the halo of her headlamp to catch a brief flicker. Her vigilance helped her discover four new species in the Bahamas. (2019-06-07)

Russian scientists make discovery that can help remove gypsy moths from forests
The caterpillars of Lymantria dispar or Gypsy Moth are voracious eaters capable of defoliating entire forests. Sometimes they can even make harm for coniferous forests. Gypsy Moths are widely spread in Europe, Asia and Northern America. (2019-05-20)

Finnish researchers discover a new moth family
Two moth species new to science belonging to a previously unknown genus and family have been found in Kazakhstan, constituting an exceptional discovery. (2019-05-09)

An important function of non-nucleated sperm
Some animals form characteristic infertile spermatozoa called parasperm, which differ in size and shape compared to fertile sperm produced by single males. A research team at the National Institute for Basic Biology in Japan has identified the gene involved in the formation of the apyrene sperm and has revealed the important function of the apyrene sperm in fertilization using the silk moth. (2019-04-29)

Could climate change cause infertility?
A number of plant and animal species could find it increasingly difficult to reproduce if climate change worsens and global temperatures become more extreme -- a stark warning highlighted by new scientific research. (2019-04-15)

DNA traces on wild flowers reveal insect visitors
Researchers have discovered that insects leave tiny DNA traces on the flowers they visit. This newly developed eDNA method holds a vast potential for documenting unknown insect-plant interactions, keeping track of endangered pollinators, such as wild bees and butterflies, as well as in the management of unwanted pest species. (2019-02-08)

Deaf moth evolves sound-production as a warning to outwit its predator
A genus of deaf moth has evolved to develop an extraordinary sound-producing structure in its wings to evade its primary predator the bat. The finding, made by researchers from the University of Bristol and Natural History Museum, is described in Scientific Reports today. (2019-02-05)

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