In a paper published July 28 in the journal Current Biology, researchers have shown that feeding bumble bees caffeine helps them better remember the smell of a specific flower with nectar inside. While previous studies have shown that bees like caffeine and will more frequently visit caffeinated flowers to get it, this is the first study to show that consuming caffeine in their nest actually helps bees find certain flowers outside of the nest.
In a recent article in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, a group of researchers analysed how farmland consolidation influences wild pollinator communities. They discovered that consolidation, while trying to optimise the productivity and output of the land, reduces the diversity of pollinators by 30%.
The Xerces blue butterfly is generally accepted as the first American insect species destroyed by urban development, but there are lingering questions about whether it was really a species to begin with, or just a sub-population of another common butterfly. In a new study, researchers analyzed the DNA of a 93-year-old Xerces blue specimen in museum collections, and confirmed that it was a unique species.
When it comes to making eggs, female flies and female humans are surprisingly similar. And that could be a boon for women seeking better birth control methods, a UConn researcher reports in the July 5 issue of PNAS.
Butterflies and moths are among the most diverse animal groups. Scientists have found as many as 5,000 species from the Alps alone. Having been a place of intensive research for 250 years, it is considered a sensation if a new species is discovered from the mountain range these days. This was the case when a Swiss-Austrian team of researchers described a new species of alpine moth in the peer-reviewed journal Alpine Entomology.
Scientists reveal a key role for interspecific gene flow in the continent-wide adaptive radiation of the Heliconius butterflies.
Male seed beetles with genital structures that injure females may have greater reproductive success. As new research from Uppsala University shows, females that mate with such males benefit, in the sense that their offspring are healthier. This new piece of the puzzle will help scientists to understand how complex mating interactions between males and females have developedevolved. The study is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
North Carolina State University researchers have created insecticide-free, mosquito-resistant clothing using textile materials they confirmed to be bite-proof in experiments with live mosquitoes.
Breakthrough paper reveals multiple mechanisms for wing transparency in butterflies and moths; shows that wing transparency has evolved multiple times in lepidopterans.
Placing rodent traps and bait stations based on rat and mouse behavior could protect the food supply more effectively than the current standard of placing them set distances apart, according to new research from Cornell University.