A project funded by a research agency of the US Department of Defense is now giving rise to concerns about being possibly misused for the purpose of biological warfare. The programme called 'Insect Allies' intends for insects to be used for dispersing genetically modified viruses to agricultural plants in fields.
To think about the coming invertebrate extinctions is to confront a different dimension of loss. So much will vanish before we even knew it was there, before we had even begun to understand it.
Study finds that common wild bee species decline as urban temperatures increase.
Worker and queen honeybees exposed to field realistic levels of neonicotinoids die sooner, reducing the health of the entire colony.
One of the most painfully idiotic myths surrounding insects is that their behaviour is limited, compared to animals of “higher intelligence”. This is not true. Look at the elaborate architecture of a hornet nest, the climate control in a termite colony, the symbolic communication in bees, the chemical communication systems in wasps, ants making slaves, farming and waging wars. All these are achieved with less than a million neurons.
Individuals are not merely subject to their social environments, but choose and create them through their interactions.
A male cockroach seems to be adapted to be either a lover or a fighter, and what’s interesting is that they do this before they become fully adult, at the final moult.
A twiner native to southern Africa, Sanderson´s parachute flower (Ceropegia sandersonii), has a particularly cunning strategy for attracting flies for pollination. Its way of ensuring pollination is a complicated ploy involving fraud and imprisonment. These types of deceptive plants that manipulate their visitors and abuse them via pollination without reward are not all that rare. Today researchers estimate that there are around 15,000 such plants.
Most of the time, mosquitoes of both sexes eat plant nectar, making them important pollinators as they move from plant to plant.
Pesticides beekeepers are using to improve honeybee health may actually be harming the bees by damaging the bacteria communities in their guts.
The picture of a plant-pathogen arms race is more complex than previously thought, and in some cases we should think of viruses in a more positive way,
Insects rely on the same sensory inputs we need to orient ourselves, and their brains process these inputs in a similar manner.
Paper wasps that send dishonest signals are aggressively punished, and the drubbing can have long-term impacts. Such cheating influences the physiology of cheaters and individuals who interact with the cheaters.
Camouflage offers many advantages for the user, for which reason it was 'invented' multiple times during evolution.
Orchids dupe male insects by mimicking how female insects look, as well as how they smell.
Unlike larger animals and even other invertebrates, the theory for the presence of personality traits in terrestrial isopods had not been studied before. Several hundreds of Common rough woodlice were observed while responding to random sequences of touch, squeeze and drop. When compared, the results showed there is in fact a significant individual pattern of defensive behaviour.