New Studies Show Drops in World Insect Population

VOA Learning English • voa
Jan. 21, 2021 ~5 min

science-technology insect

Pollinators: neonicotinoid pesticides stop bees and flies from getting a good night's sleep

Chemicals banned in the EU were recently granted an exemption for limited use in the UK.

Kiah Tasman, Teaching Associate in Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol • conversation
Jan. 21, 2021 ~6 min

insects bees bumblebees pesticides body-clock sleep fruit-flies pollinators honeybees circadian-rhythms flies neonicotinoids crop-pollination

Is the dormancy of flies possible in people?

New research with flesh flies clarifies how the insects switch from dormancy to arousal. The findings raise some sci-fi possibilities.

Kirsten Romaguera-U. Florida • futurity
Jan. 21, 2021 ~5 min

insects science-and-technology hibernation

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

conservation biodiversity insects potassium nutrients entomology research-brief nitrogen ants ecosystems farmland invasive-species iron phosphorus calcium magnesium sodium micronutrients nectar new-research

Stickiness is a weapon some plants use to fend off hungry insects

For some sand-dwelling plants, stickiness is a defense tactic that keeps predators at bay.

Eric LoPresti, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Oklahoma State University • conversation
Jan. 20, 2021 ~6 min

insects biology plants botany ants evolutionary-biology seeds convergent-evolution camouflage caterpillars

Wing imprints reveal dino-era praying mantis

Researchers have identified a new species of praying mantis after discovering imprints of its fossilized wings in present-day Quebec.

Katherine Gombay-McGill • futurity
Jan. 19, 2021 ~6 min

evolution insects fossils wings new-species science-and-technology

One termite lineage took over by switching diets

"Termites are mostly misunderstood," says entomologist Thomas Chouvenc. Tracing their evolution shows they do more than eat wood and destroy homes.

Lourdes Rodriguez-U. Florida • futurity
Jan. 15, 2021 ~7 min

evolution insects termites science-and-technology earth-and-environment

Killer cotton and planes dropping moths wiped out these pests

The invasive pink bollworm has inflicted tens of millions of dollars in damage annually. Biotech cotton and sterile moths helped eradicate it in the US.

Rose Brandt-Arizona • futurity
Dec. 22, 2020 ~7 min

insects pesticides genetic-engineering crops earth-and-environment cotton

Grasshopper cages reveal trouble with shifting habitats

New research looks at what could happen to plant communities on alpine grasslands if grasshoppers from lower elevations settled there.

Peter Rüegg-ETH Zurich • futurity
Dec. 22, 2020 ~6 min

climate-change insects plants ecosystems earth-and-environment

Mealworms vs. grasshoppers: Which fails the ‘yuck’ test?

Insects, like mealworms and grasshoppers, are a sustainable, climate-friendly food source. But for kids at least, grasshoppers fail the "yuck test."

Katherina Killander-U. Copenhagen • futurity
Dec. 21, 2020 ~5 min

sustainability climate-change insects food earth-and-environment