Monthly Archives: March 2011

DNA Barcoding

Almost 1 million species of insects have been described. Accurate species identification is important to scientific research and insect management. Taxonomic identifications can be laborious and time consuming. They depend on proper preservation of the specimen. Identification to species often … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Pest Management | 2 Comments

Insect Control of Cactus

Admiral Arthur Philip was in charge of the first British colony in Australia. On the journey from England in 1786, the First Fleet stopped in Brazil to collect cacti infested with cochineal to take to the new colony. The hot … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Invasive Species, Pest Management, Policy | 1 Comment

Carmine Food Controversy

Carmine is used in many foods as a colorant, quite commonly on meats to give them a “fresh” red look. Once meat is cut, the surface is subject to oxidation of the heme iron in myoglobin, giving the meat a … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Health, News | 2 Comments

Wear Your Love Like Insects?

Cochineal, (Dactylopius coccus) is a North American scale insect that produces carminic acid, a chemical that deters potential predators. When the scale insects are ground to a powder and mixed with calcium or aluminum salts, the brilliant red dye, carmine … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biomaterials, Environment | 1 Comment

Insects with Personality

Many people look on insects as objects and fail to appreciate that insects are living creatures with “personality”. The average aphid does not possess a complex personality worthy of a homecoming queen or even a class clown. However, the biological … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Environment | 5 Comments

More Pesticides and Bees

Crop pollination by honey bees contributes billions of dollars every year to the US economy. However, the bee keeping industry in the US is under stress. Introduction of mites that attack bees, bad weather, diseases and pesticides all have negative … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Pest Management, Policy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Bubonic plague III

I have posted previously about bubonic plague here and here. The bubonic plague is caused by the bacteria, Yersinia pestis. The bubonic form is transmitted by the rat flea and is the most common form of Yersinia pestis. This form … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Health, Invasive Species, Pest Management, Policy | 2 Comments