A seminal semicentennial

Fifty years ago, Geoff Parker’s pioneering scholarship on “sperm competition” in insects was broadly overlooked. Since those days, hundreds of studies in many animals have confirmed the importance of what he discovered while watching flies mate around cow pats.

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
yesterday ~13 min

The essential fly

Think before you swat: The much-maligned fly could be the key to ensuring future supplies of many of the world’s favorite foods

Stephanie Pain • knowable
March 2, 2021 ~16 min

Tiny cacao flowers and fickle midges are part of a pollination puzzle that limits chocolate production

Entomologists wonder if the insects currently pollinating farmed cacao are the right ones for the task.

DeWayne Shoemaker, Professor and Department Head, Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee • conversation
Feb. 10, 2021 ~6 min

Invasive tawny crazy ants have an intense craving for calcium – with implications for their spread in the US

The spread of tawny crazy ants may be driven, in part, by their need for calcium.

Ryan Reihart, Teaching Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate of Ecology, University of Dayton • conversation
Jan. 21, 2021 ~5 min

Dung beetles: In the gutter, gazing at the stars

As they craft their humble lives from piles of manure, the insects look to the skies for direction

Charles Q. Choi • knowable
Dec. 22, 2020 ~13 min

The ungentle joy of spider sex

Some spiders pair puny males with gigantic females, making mating both tricky and dangerous. Why and how such mismatches evolved remains curiously enigmatic.

Emily Underwood • knowable
Oct. 22, 2020 ~16 min

Bloodthirsty tsetse flies nurse their young, one live birth at a time – understanding this unusual strategy could help fight the disease they spread

This insect's unique reproductive biology could lead to new ways to control the species in the environment – and prevent the deadly sleeping sickness it spreads to people.

Geoff Attardo, Assistant Professor of Entomology and Nematology, University of California, Davis • conversation
July 29, 2020 ~7 min

An argument for gene drive technology to genetically control populations of insects like mosquitoes and locusts

Gene drive guarantees that a trait will be passed to the next generation. But should society use this tool to control insect populations?

Brian Lovett, Postdoctoral Researcher in Mycology, West Virginia University • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~10 min

An argument for gene drive technology to genetically control insects like mosquitoes and locusts

Gene drive guarantees that a trait will be passed to the next generation. But should society use this tool to control insect populations?

Brian Lovett, Postdoctoral Researcher in Mycology, West Virginia University • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~10 min

What are Asian giant hornets, and are they really dangerous? 5 questions answered

Are 'murder hornets' from Asia invading North America? A Japanese entomologist who's been stung by one and lived to tell the tale explains what's true about these predatory insects.

Akito Y Kawahara, Associate Professor and Curator of Insects, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida • conversation
May 11, 2020 ~9 min

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