Those tiny flies that take over your garbage cans during the summer? They are called fruit flies for a reason! They have a fantastic sense of smell and these tiny creatures are a popular animal model for researchers.
Moths arrived first on the evolutionary stage; when much later on bats appeared with their sophisticated apparatus for echolocating prey, moths were forced to change or die.
In one of my previous blog posts, I wrote about the success of insecticide treated bed nets in preventing malaria. In the past five years, mortality from malaria has dropped with 60%.
Sexual selection can lead to fascinating phenomena. We are all familiar with the fabulous color display of male peacocks to attract females. Less well known, but definitely not less interesting, are stalk-eyed flies.
Bed nets treated with insecticide (ITNs) greatly decrease malaria illness and mortality. ITNs can decrease infant mortality from all causes by more than 20%.
Leaf sucking creatures like plant aphids are common and can cause considerable damage to plants. Therefore, quite a lot of effort is made to control these tiny creatures.
We all know that the majority of plant species depends on pollinators, like bees and syrphid flies, for reproduction. What most of us do not know is that this process is far more complex than it looks at first sight.
It seems that mosquitoes use human body odor to locate suitable hosts, and different people smell differently to mosquitoes.
Did you know that plants are not as passive as they appear to be at first sight? Although plants cannot run away when they are attacked by plant eating insects, they have several sophisticated ways to defend themselves.
Plant volatiles play an important role in the interaction between plants and insects that eat them. Insect damage very often induces plants to produce volatiles.