A common insecticide that is a major hazard for honeybees is now effectively detected in honey thanks to a simple new method.
By experimentally comparing wild populations of Ae. aegypti the researchers discovered that the invasive subspecies is very effective at transmitting the Zika virus not only because it has more frequent contacts with humans for blood meals, but also as a result of its greater susceptibility to the virus relative to the African subspecies.
When food is scarce, monarch butterfly caterpillars go from docile to domineering. The results look something like a combination of boxing and "bumper" cars. The less food, the more likely caterpillars were to try to head-butt each other out of the way to get their fill, lunging and knocking aside other caterpillars to ensure their own survival. And, they are most aggressive right before the final stages of their metamorphosis.
There are over 20,000 species of bee, but accurate data about how these species are spread across the globe are sparse. However, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on November 19 have created a map of bee diversity by combining the most complete global checklist of known bee species with the almost 6 million additional public records of where individual species have appeared around the world.
In the absence of milkweed--their favorite food--monarch butterfly caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) go from peaceful feeders to aggressive fighters. Researchers reporting in the journal iScience on November 19 observed that caterpillars with less access to food were more likely to lunge at others to knock them aside, and caterpillars were most aggressive during the final stages before metamorphosis.
A McGill University-led team of biologists found, in an article published today in Nature, that the picture of dramatically declining vertebrate populations of all kinds is driven by a small number of outlier populations whose numbers are dropping at extreme rates. Once these outliers are separated from the mix, a very different and far more hopeful picture of global biodiversity emerges.
Using X-rays, Professor Hiroki Obata of Kumamoto University, Japan has imaged 28 impressions of maize weevils on pottery shards from the late Jomon period (around 3,600 years ago) excavated from the Yakushoden site in Miyazaki Prefecture. This is the first example of pottery with multiple weevil impressions discovered in Kyushu, and the density of impressions is the highest ever found in Japan.
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.
Southern small-leaved oak forests are the habitats with a higher level of spider endemism in the Iberian Peninsula, according to an article published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. The study analyses the factors that affect biodiversity patterns of spider communities in the national park network of Spain, and explains the role of the environmental factors in the distribution of the biodiversity of this faunistic group in the peninsular territory.
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.