Ant-acacia plants attract ants by offering specialized food and hollow thorns in which the ants live, while the ant colony in turn defends its acacia against herbivores. This mutualistic relationship only occurs in older plants. New findings from University of Pennsylvania plant biologists, identify the genetic pathway that appears to regulate the timing of the acacia's ant-sustaining arsenal.
People the world over have a good sense that we do not want flies landing on our food. Research has justified that disgust, showing that flies associated with humans and their livestock spread a diversity of pathogens. Researchers of the Robert Koch Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have now shown that such fly associations also exist in highly mobile non-human primate groups as they move kilometers every day through the rainforest.
For the first time, a study has measured antioxidant levels in commercially available edible insects. For open-minded health freaks, it's good news: crickets pack 75% the antioxidant power of fresh OJ, and silkworm fat twice that of olive oil. And while even ladybirds fart, insects have a tiny land, water and carbon footprint compared with livestock -- so anything that encourages insect eating is good news for the planet, too.
Scientists have known insects experience something like pain since 2003, but new research published today from Associate Professor Greg Neely and colleagues at the University of Sydney proves for the first time that insects also experience chronic pain that lasts long after an initial injury has healed.
Riley Tedrow, Ph.D., a medical entomologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has uncovered new findings about malaria transmission in Madagascar. In a recent study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, he also describes real-world application of an effective mosquito surveillance strategy using low cost traps and a recently reported tool that simultaneously tests each mosquito for its species, what it fed on, and the presence of malaria parasites.
A multinational team of researchers has identified countries where agriculture's increasing dependence on pollination, coupled with a lack of crop diversity, may threaten food security and economic stability. The study, which was published in the journal Global Change Biology on July 11, 2019, is the first global assessment of the relationship between trends in crop diversity and agricultural dependence on pollinators.
Researchers have shown for the first time the detrimental effect of wildfires on moths and the ecological benefits they provide by transporting pollen, making interacting plant and insect communities more vulnerable to local extinctions.
A new study describes the way mosquito immune systems fight malaria parasites using various waves of resistance. The study could lay the groundwork for future research to combat the transmission of malaria, which sickens millions of people across the globe every year.
A moth caterpillar has evolved to use acids, usually sprayed at predators as a deterrent, to disarm the defenses of their food plants, according to a study publishing July 10, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Dussourd from the University of Central Arkansas and colleagues.
The most extensive and systematic insect monitoring program ever undertaken in North America shows that butterfly abundance in Ohio declined yearly by 2%, resulting in an overall 33% drop for the 21 years of the program.