The Radiohead ant: A new species of ‘silky’ ant grows fungus gardens for food

  • April 24, 2017
  • Image blog

    The ants of the genus Sericomyrmex – literally translated as ‘silky ants’ – belong to the fungus-farming ants, a group of ants that have figured out how to farm their own food. The silky ants are the less well-known relatives of the famous leaf-cutter ants – well-studied, photogenic model organisms that you simply cannot avoid […]

    Of Star Trek, Mark Twain and helmets: 15 new species of wasps with curious names

  • March 27, 2017
  • P_odo Blog

    A total of fifteen new species of parasitic wasps have been described from across the Neotropical region. Apart from belonging to a peculiar group of wasps distinct with large and elongated bodies, the new insects also draw attention with the curious names they have been formally assigned with. Among them, there are species named after […]

    With flying colors: Top entomology students honoured with wasp species named after them

  • March 13, 2017
  • blog

    The highly divergent parasitic wasps have long been causing headaches to scientists. At one point, taxonomists began using some genera as “dumping grounds for unplaced members”, simply to organise the species. Two entomologists from the University of Kentucky, USA – Drs. Michael J. Sharkey and Eric Chapman, have recently addressed one such issue by describing […]

    Bee species with little known nesting-behavior observed to use plastic instead of leaves

  • March 1, 2017
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    Little is known about the nesting activities of some lineages of megachiline bees. Dr. Sarah Gess, affiliated with both Albany Museum and Rhodes University, South Africa, and Peter Roosenschoon, Conservation Officer at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, United Arab Emirates, made use of their earlier observations gathered during a survey on flower visitation in the […]

    New species of parasitic wasp discovered in the eggs of leaf-rolling weevils in Africa

  • February 27, 2017
  • adulto-u

    A new species of parasitic wasp has been obtained from the eggs of weevils, associated with bushwillows, collected and identified by Dr. Silvano Biondi. Given the tiny insect from northeastern Gabon is the first record of its genus for West-Central Africa, the researchers Dr. Stefania Laudonia and Dr. Gennaro Viggiani, both affiliated with Italy’s University […]

    Rarely-seen event of ant brood parasitism by scuttle flies video-documented

  • January 31, 2017
  • oo_111352

    While many species of scuttle flies are associated with ants, their specific interactions with their hosts are largely unknown. Brood parasitism (attacking the immature stages, rather than the adult ants), for example, is an extremely rarely observed and little-studied phenomenon. However, a research team from the USA and Brazil, led by Dr. Brian Brown, Natural […]

    Ottawa confirmed as the biodiversity hotspot for a subfamily of wasps in North America

  • November 21, 2016
  • blog-cotesia-acronyctae

    What usually comes to mind when speaking about biodiversity hotspots are tropical regions, pristine areas and magnificent forests. Meanwhile, it is quite rare that a city in a temperate zone is considered significant in terms of biodiversity, much less mentioned as a hotspot. Yet, the city of Ottawa together with its surroundings, despite having population […]

    In the belly of the Devil: New rare ant species found in the stomach of a poison frog

  • September 27, 2016
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    While new ant species are usually discovered in surveys involving researchers searching through leaf litter, it turns out that sifting through the stomach contents of insect-eating frogs might prove no less effective, especially when it comes to rare species. Such is the case of a new species of rarely collected long-toothed ant, discovered in the […]

    Trapped in a nuclear weapon bunker wood ants survive for years in Poland

  • August 30, 2016
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    Having built their nest over the vertical ventilation pipe of an old nuclear weapon bunker in Poland, every year a large number of wood ants fall down the pipe to never return back to their colony. Curiously, although trapped in extremely severe conditions underground, the ants have already upped their numbers to these of big, […]