Monthly Archives: March 2016

Collecting Fire Ant Venom

Investigation of the venoms of stinging Hymenoptera necessitates collecting tiny amounts of venom from a large number of insects. It would be time consuming to extract venom from fire ant individuals so a method was developed* to collect venom in … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal | 1 Comment

Living With Fire Ant Venom

Venoms of ants in the genus Solenopsis have unusual components not found in venoms of other stinging Hymenoptera. Most Hymenoptera venoms contain proteins that are responsible for the painful sting. The venom of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, … Continue reading

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Living With Wasp Venoms

Wasps have diversity of lifestyles from internal parasitoid to solitary hunter to social wasp. The function of venoms has evolved to complement the┬álifestyle. Venoms are produced by only the female wasps in accessory glands of the reproductive system. In many … Continue reading

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Living With Early Pollinators

Blue bottle flies, Calliphora vomitoria, are active as soon as temperatures warm in the spring. They visit early spring flowers feeding on nectar. Blue bottle flies┬ácan be effective pollinators. Note the pollen attached to the hairs of the fly visiting … Continue reading

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Easter Eggs

Easter is the day for egg hunts: searching for decorated chicken eggs (or their plastic mimics) hidden among the foliage in the back yard. On Easter, and every other day, insects are hiding their eggs, in the soil, in cracks … Continue reading

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Living With Early Pollinators

On a warm March spring day, early pollinators can be seen visiting flowers. Honey bees are active if it is warm. Many of the early pollinators are Diptera. The hover fly, Helophilus fasciatus,(Diptera: Syrphidae) is a bee mimic active in … Continue reading

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Living With Cyanogenic Plants III

In previous posts, I discussed the unique strategies the cabbage butterfly larvae use to detoxify glucosinolates in their cabbage family host plants. What happens when humans consume cabbage? The cyanide generating isothiocyanates that are released when eating cabbage are detoxified … Continue reading

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