Verroa Mites on Bee

Scientists “Evolve a Fungus” to Kill More Mites

Scientists “evolve a fungus” claims Science (AAAS) News 4 June 2021, and Scientific Reports 19 May 2021 doi:10.1038/s41598-021-89811-2. Researchers looking for a method of biological control of the Verroa mite, which has devastated honeybee colonies, have found a fungus that attacks and kills the mites. However, the fungus grows poorly in the warm temperatures of […]

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Dragonfly Flying

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it!

Alive or dead, they are flipping good at it! Dragonfly backflips described in articles in ScienceDaily 9 February 2021, Imperial College London news 10 February 2021, and PNAS 10 February 2021 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2676.  Dragonflies are noted for superb aerial manoeuvres, including flying backwards, but even the most agile flyer can be knocked off balance or […]

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Butterfly

Efficient Butterfly Flight

Efficient butterfly flight reported in BBC News 20 January 2021, ScienceDaily 21 January 2021 and Journal of The Royal Society Interface 20 January 2021 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2020.0854. Two researchers at the Swedish Lund University have studied the fluttery flight of butterflies, which has traditionally been considered ungainly and inefficient.  Per Henningsson and Christoffer Johansson commented in […]

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Iridescent Insect

Iridescent Camouflage

Iridescent camouflage found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily, Telegraph (UK) 23 January 2020 and Current Biology 23 January 2020, doi: 10. 1016/j.cub.2019.12.013.  Iridescence is the bright, variable colour created by light being refracted in surface structures, e.g. peacock feathers and some butterfly wings.  It produces bright clear colours, so most evolutionary biologists […]

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Mosquito on Flower

Mosquitoes Analyse Flower Chemistry

Mosquitoes analyse flower chemistry, according to reports in ScienceDaily 22 January 2020 and The Daily University of Washington 6 February 2020 and PNAS 7 January 2020, doi:10.1073/pnas.1910589117.  Although mosquitoes have a well-earned reputation for biting people and sucking blood, their main food source is flower nectar.  As explained by Jeffrey Riffell, a professor of biology […]

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Beetles on Flowers

Insect Pollination Extended By 50 Million Years

Insect pollination extended by 50 million years, claim scientists in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 11 November 2019, and PNAS 11 November 2019 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1916186116. Scientists from China, Germany and USA have studied a beetle preserved in Burmese amber and found it was carrying pollen grains from a flowering plant. The beetle belongs to a […]

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Weevil

Weevil Larvae at Sea

Weevil larvae at sea according articles in Journal of Experimental Biology, 13 December 2018, doi: 10.1242/jeb.195792. Flightless insects and small invertebrates are found all over the world, including remote islands. In order to get to such places they must cross long stretches of ocean.  Even if they are carried on rafts of vegetation they will […]

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Leaf Litter

World Needs Death and Decay

World needs death and decay claims an article is ScienceDaily 12 September 2018 about a study published in Ecological Monographs 11 September 2018, doi: 10.1002/ecm.1331. When animals and plants die there is a need for their remains to be broken down and decomposed so that nutrients and other substances are returned to the earth to […]

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Dragonfly Wings

How Dragonfly Wings Get their Patterns

How dragonfly wings get their patterns according to ScienceDaily and PhysOrg 17 September 2018 and PNAS published online 17 September 2018 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1721248115. Insect wings get their structural support from struts called veins, with large primary veins and smaller, narrower secondary veins which branch off the primary veins and intersect, forming a pattern of geometrical […]

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African Moon Moth

Moth Tails Baffle Bats

Moth tails baffle bats, claim scientists in reports in Science (AAAS) News, Science Daily 4 July 2018 and Science Advances 4 July 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7428. Moth wings vary a lot in their shape. Some moths have rounded wings and others have elongated tails on their back wings.  As moths are preyed on by bats a […]

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