Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Symbionts

Microbes of one sort or another inhabit the digestive systems of all animals. Some insects have specific structures to house symbionts that aid in digestion and provide important nutrients. Lepidoptera are not known for specific structures to house symbionts. Some … Continue reading

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Declining Monarchs

Brad Plumer has an interview with Lepidopterist, Lincoln Brower about the declining numbers of Monarch Butterflies. The overwintering population in Mexico has shrunk to the lowest on record. Brower cites the following reasons for decline: 1. Habitat destruction and illegal … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment, Policy | 8 Comments

Hormonal Control

Juvenile Hormone (JH) is a hormone specific to insects that is involved in regulation of numerous precesses. Juvenile Hormone was originally named for its ability to suppress adult genes and maintain larval genes. In the presence of Juvenile Hormone, an … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment | Leave a comment

Home Invaders

Many species of Hemiptera overwinter as adults, often in locations sheltered from the elements. Some Hemiptera overwinter indoors and in large numbers. These include the boxelder bug, that can create large numbers of home invaders by releasing aggregation pheromone. The … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment, Pest Management, Taxonomy | 5 Comments

Mating Suppression by Hymenopteran Queens

Cuticular hydrocarbons are used as mating signals in many groups of insects and recognition of nest mates in social insects. In many species of social Hymenoptera (Wasps, Bees and Ants) the queen produces a substance that suppresses the reproductive system … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal | Leave a comment

Insect Inspired Robots

Harvard scientists recently unveiled the world’s smallest flying robot (video here). The robot is inspired by the biology of the house fly. The wings are distinctly “fly-shaped”. Like the fly, the robot wings can beat independently which allows maneuverability. Like … Continue reading

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A Better Bed Bug Trap?

Historical records from Eastern Europe report the use of bean leaves to trap Bed Bugs. Leaves of some varieties of bean plants (Phaseolus spp.) have hairs called trichomes on their leaves. Some trichomes have hooks at the tip that can … Continue reading

Posted in Bed Bugs, Biomaterials, by jjneal, Pest Management | Leave a comment