Monthly Archives: March 2015

Living With Pollinator Germs

Insects have populations of microbes on their cuticle that can vary among insect species. Microbes can be transferred to flowers from pollinators. A group of scientists* found that a visit from a pollinator can change the microbical composition on flowers. … Continue reading

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Living In Ticks

Over half of all species of Hymenoptera are parasitoids. Host for Hymenopteran parasitoids are not exclusively insects. Some parasitize and develop on spiders and ticks. Ixodiphagus hookeri is an encyrtid wasp that uses Ixodes Spp. as hosts. Female wasps lay … Continue reading

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More Olympus Bioscapes

Ninth place in the 2014 OlympusBioscapes contest was won by Dr Igor Siwanowicz. This sharp image of a compelling complex structure has pleasing colors. What is it? The image shows the┬átrochanters of an immature green coneheaded planthopper, Acanalonia conica as … Continue reading

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Clutch Flight Maneuvers

As I discussed in the previous post, the forewings and halteres of flies are coupled by structures that keep the beating in rhythm. This is efficient for flying in a straight line, but not for maneuvers. During maneuvers, flies will … Continue reading

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Fly Flight Coordination

Flies have forewings that are membranous and hind wings, called halteres,a that are shaped like balls on the end of a stalk. In a previous series of posts, I discussed the role of the halteres in providing feedback information to … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy | 1 Comment

Composting With Black Soldier Flies

The black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, is commonly found in animal waste and compost. This insect is of interest both for waste management and for conversion of waste into nutients and animal feed. Black soldier fly larvae purge their gut, … Continue reading

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Living With Hog Waste

Confined animal production is an efficient way to produce meat, but creates a number of problems, one being┬áthe large amount of manure. Composting is one method of waste handling that allows its use as fertilizer. Hog manure can difficult to … Continue reading

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