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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Insects News

Insects Current Events and Insects News from Brightsurf

Insects Current Events and Insects News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Freeloading orchid relies on mushrooms above and below ground

Thu, 22 Mar 18 00:00:10 -0700

The orchid species Gastrodia pubilabiata mimics rotting mushrooms or fermented fruit, and is pollinated by fruit flies who mistakenly lay their eggs in its flowers. If there are rotting mushrooms near the orchid, its pollination rate increases. As well as using mushrooms to attract insect pollinators, G. pubilabiata survives by absorbing nutrients from the fungal hyphae of mushrooms. This is the first time a plant has been discovered to depend on mushrooms both above and below ground.

Physical disability boosts parenting effort, beetles study shows

Thu, 22 Mar 18 00:01:20 -0700

Animals that carry a physical impediment can work harder to rear their young as a result, an insect study has shown. They may behave this way in case they are not able to reproduce again, scientists suggest.

Insects could help us find new yeasts for big business

Wed, 21 Mar 18 00:16:00 -0700

Yeasts are tiny fungi -- but they play key roles in producing everything from beer and cheese to industrial chemicals and biofuels. And now scientists are proposing a new approach that could help these industries find new yeasts for use in their manufacturing processes.

Discovered mode of drinking in mosquitoes carries biomedical implications

Tue, 20 Mar 18 00:06:30 -0700

'Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance, but also a health threat,' said Virginia Tech's Mark Stremler, a study co-author. 'The more we can understand about their robustness and how they survive, the better chance we have of figuring out ways to control them.'

Termite queen, king recognition pheromone identified

Mon, 19 Mar 18 00:01:20 -0700

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.

New pheromone insight may help predict mountain pine beetle outbreaks

Mon, 19 Mar 18 00:01:00 -0700

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have shed new light on how mountain pine beetles produce an important pheromone called trans-verbenol, which could aid in efforts to better predict outbreaks.

Climate change promotes the spread of mosquito and tick-borne viruses

Fri, 16 Mar 18 00:02:50 -0700

Scientists at the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, find that global warming has allowed disease-bearing insects to proliferate, increasing exposure to viral infections.

When natural disaster strikes, can insects and other invertebrates recover?

Thu, 15 Mar 18 00:01:20 -0700

After a 100-year flood struck south central Oklahoma in 2015, a study of the insects, arthropods, and other invertebrates in the area revealed striking declines of most invertebrates in the local ecosystem, a result that researchers say illustrates the hidden impacts of natural disasters.

Little creek, big impact

Thu, 15 Mar 18 00:03:10 -0700

A small sliver of wildness is having a big impact on the birds, fish and wildlife near UC Davis. Birds at Putah Creek have more than doubled since water was restored to the creek in 2000.

'Lazy lawn mowers' can help support suburban bee populations and diversity

Wed, 14 Mar 18 00:01:40 -0700

Homeowners concerned about the decline of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects need look no further than their own back yards, says ecologist Susannah Lerman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the USDA Forest Service. In new research, she and colleagues suggest that homeowners can help support bee habitat in suburban yards, specifically their lawns, by changing lawn-mowing habits.

Lack of water is key stressor for urban trees

Tue, 13 Mar 18 00:13:00 -0700

A recent study finds that urban trees can survive increased heat and insect pests fairly well -- unless they are thirsty. Insufficient water not only harms trees, but allows other problems to have an outsized effect on trees in urban environments.

Predicting an insect community structure based on genomic variation in a tree species

Tue, 13 Mar 18 00:16:00 -0700

Researchers have discovered a rule to predict an arthropod community structure based on the genomic variation in a foundation tree species.

Heat shock system helps bug come back to life after drying up

Fri, 09 Mar 18 00:10:00 -0800

The larva of the sleeping chironomid, Polypedilum vanderplanki -- a mosquito-like insect that inhabits semi-arid areas of Africa -- is well known for being able to come back to life after being nearly completely desiccated, losing up to 97 percent of its body's water content. Now, researchers have discovered that a gene called heat shock factor -- which is present in some form in nearly all living organisms on earth -- has been coopted by the species to survive desiccation.

Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature

Fri, 09 Mar 18 00:11:10 -0800

A study led by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) has uncovered new ways of driving multi-legged robots by means of a two-level controller. The proposed controller uses a network of so-called non-linear oscillators that enables the generation of diverse gaits and postures, which are specified by only a few high-level parameters. The study inspires new research into how multi-legged robots can be controlled, including in the future using brain-computer interfaces.

UGR scientist developed 3-D scans of beetles for Blade Runner 2049

Tue, 27 Feb 18 00:15:00 -0800

One of the main visual effects companies behind Blade Runner 2049, BUF, sought the collaboration of Javier Alba-Tercedor, a Professor of Zoology at the University of Granada, to obtain scans of different species of beetles used in the film's visual effects.

Why are some mushrooms 'magic?'

Tue, 27 Feb 18 00:04:30 -0800

Psychedelic mushrooms likely developed their

Study tracks what moths think when they smell with their antennae

Tue, 27 Feb 18 00:05:50 -0800

researchers have created a functional map of how the hawkmoth smells, tracing the process from the antennae to specific areas in the hawkmoth brain. Using a wind tunnel, calcium imaging, and 80 different odor compounds found in the hawkmoth's natural environment, researchers mapped how the hawkmoth distinguishes between odors to find a safe place to eat or to lay eggs, according to the study published Feb. 27 in the journal Cell Reports.

Scientists identify specialized brain areas for feeding and egg-laying in hawkmoths

Tue, 27 Feb 18 00:05:30 -0800

The search for food is linked to other areas in the olfactory center of female tobacco hawkmoths (Manduca sexta) than the search for plants to best lay eggs, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, found. The study confirmed that activity in specific areas in the antennal lobe of the insects correlates with feeding behavior, whereas activity in other areas is related to egg-laying.

Plants evolve away from obsolete defenses when attacked by immune herbivores, study shows

Mon, 26 Feb 18 00:10:00 -0800

A new study shows that plants can evolve out of their obsolete defense mechanisms when facing an immune enemy, an illustration of the 'defense de-escalation' evolution theory.

Digestive ability of ancient insects could boost biofuel development

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:13:30 -0800

A study of the unusual digestive system of an ancient group of insects has provided new insights into future biofuel production.

Disease-bearing mosquitoes gain from shrinkage of green spaces

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:16:10 -0800

A study conducted in São Paulo, Southern Hemisphere's biggest city, shows that mosquitoes belonging to vector species make up for seven out of the eight most common species found in municipal parks; adapted to urban environment, they benefit from the fragmentation of green areas, a process which leads to the extinction of wild species.

Moths in mud can uncover prehistoric secrets

Thu, 22 Feb 18 00:02:50 -0800

A groundbreaking new technique for examining moth scales in forest lake sediments allows prehistoric outbreaks of these insects to be identified. The technique -- which could prove as revolutionary as fossil pollen and charcoal markers -- can provide information on the frequency and intensity of past and future insect epidemics, their impact on the forest environment and how they are linked to climate change.

Diet or Regular? Decoding behavioral variation in ant clones

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:15:30 -0800

Clonal ants appear to be diverse in responding to sweetened water, suggesting epigenetic regulation in behavioral variation and colony survival.

Computer models allow farmers to diversify pest management methods

Tue, 20 Feb 18 00:09:30 -0800

A technology developed by Brazilian researchers can help fighting highly resistant agricultural pests by analyzing the connections between the pests' patterns of dispersal in crops and different configurations in diversified intercropping systems.

Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'

Mon, 19 Feb 18 00:10:30 -0800

New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of 'extinction cascades', where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.

Spatial perception of odorants in cockroaches

Mon, 19 Feb 18 00:03:00 -0800

A recent study involving researchers from the University of Konstanz has described the first neural architecture capable of encoding the spatial location of odorants.

Hunting is changing forests, but not as expected

Thu, 15 Feb 18 00:02:50 -0800

In many tropical forests, over-hunting is diminishing the populations of animals who are vital for dispersing the seeds of woody plants. Those same plants are vital for carbon storage and previous theoretical modeling studies predicted dire consequences to defaunation, this research suggests otherwise. Instead the data shows the effects on the ecosystem are less straightforward and less immediately devastating.

Australian fire beetle avoids the heat

Thu, 15 Feb 18 00:05:30 -0800

The Australian jewel beetle Merimna atrata has several heat sensors. Originally it was thought that it uses them to detect forest fires as the insect lays its eggs in the wood of burned eucalyptus trees. Researchers at the University of Bonn were finally able to refute this hypothesis. Instead, the beetle appears to need its heat sensors for a different purpose: to not burn its feet on landing. The study has now been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

World's most venomous spiders are actually cousins

Thu, 15 Feb 18 00:06:40 -0800

Two lineages of dangerous arachnids found in Australia--long classified as distantly related in the official taxonomy--are, in fact, relatively close evolutionary cousins. The lineages include the most venomous spiders in the world. The findings could help in the development of novel antivenoms, as well as point to new forms of insecticides.

Biochemical networks mapped in midgut of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Thu, 15 Feb 18 00:08:30 -0800

Scientists have mapped for the first time the midgut metabolites of the Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that can transmit viruses that cause dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever to humans.

Comes naturally? Using stick insects, scientists explore natural selection, predictability

Thu, 15 Feb 18 00:07:10 -0800

Predicting evolution remains difficult. Scientists from Utah State University, University of Sheffield, University of Connecticut, University of Notre Dame and Simon Frasier University studied evolution of cryptic body coloration and pattern in stick insects for insights.

Understanding a fly's body temperature may help people sleep better
In findings that one day may help people sleep better, scientists have uncovered the first molecular evidence that two anciently conserved proteins in the brains of insects and mammals share a common biological ancestry as regulators of body temperature rhythms crucial to metabolism and sleep. Publishing their data in the journal Genes