Entomology, from the Greek words entomos (meaning segmented) and logia (meaning study of) is the scientific discipline focused on the study of insects. It is a sub-discipline of zoology (the study of animals).
Worldwide, the number of insect species is estimated conservatively by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to approach (or likely exceed) 950,000. Insects are critical components of Earth's ecological systems in their varied roles that range from pollinators to disease vectors to foodstuffs rich in protein.
This article was prepared for the U.S. Forest Service by Matthew Shepherd and Scott Hoffman Black of The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, with contributions from...
Combating Hopping PestsLast Updated on 2015-02-28 18:55:12The Mormon cricket is a voracious feeder that wipes out acres of grasses and field crops in no time. When it’s young, it grows so fast that its immune system cannot keep up. ARS scientists are finding that this may be the best time to use biocontrol fungi to target the insect pest.
New Hopes for Combating Hopping Pests
For many Americans, summertime means warm, sunny days spent by the pool or exploring the country and the world. But for farmers, ranchers, scientists, and state pest control organizations in the western half of the country, summer also means a chance of infestations of hopping pests, particularly grasshoppers and Mormon crickets.
Each adult female grasshopper can lay multiple egg pods—each containing many eggs—in one summer, which could greatly increase the population the next summer, after the eggs hatch. This compounding effect could lead... More »
PollinationLast Updated on 2014-09-06 22:10:21
Pollination in angiosperms and gymnosperms is the process that transfers pollen grains, which contain the male gametes (sperm) to where the female gamete(s) are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself. The receptive part of the carpel is called a stigma in the flowers of angiosperms. The receptive part of the gymnosperm ovule is called the micropyle.
The study of pollination brings together many disciplines, such as botany, horticulture, entomology, and ecology. The pollination process as an interaction between flower and vector was first addressed in the 18th century by Christian Konrad Sprengel.
Pollination is a necessary step in the sexual reproduction of flowering plants, resulting in the production of offspring that are genetically diverse. It is important in horticulture and agriculture, because fruiting is... More »
Zebra Longwing ButterflyLast Updated on 2014-06-25 18:33:59
Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charitonia)
The zebra longwing butterfly or zebra heliconian, Heliconius charitonia, is unmistakable with its long narrow wings, which are striped black and pale yellow. This species is common in Mexico and Central America and it is also found in most of Florida and in some areas of Texas, where it can be seen year round. Occasionally it wanders farther north as far as South Carolina and some of the central states, although it is not likely to survive the cold. Florida designated this striking creature as its state butterfly in 1996.
They fly slowly and gracefully and are not easily startled. They gather in roosts to spend the night returning to the same place daily; all this making it easy to observe them. After mating the female lays eggs on one of several species of passion flower plants Passiflora. The caterpillars feed on these plants... More »
LarvaLast Updated on 2014-06-13 19:44:02
A larva is a distinct juvenile life stage associated with certain faunal species, most notably with certain butterfly, moth and a gamut of other arthropod, chordate, annelid, mollusk and echinoderm species. A larva typically has a morphology that is very different from its adult stage, both in overt appearance and in organ functionality; in fact, the larval habitat itself can be totally disjunct from that of the adult. The larval life stage is also frequently found to a wide number of faunal parasites. Charles Darwin was one of the first to note the role of larval adaptation in the process of speciation.  The normal plural form of the term is based upon its Latin origin: hence, larvae.
Larvae are distinctly occuring life stages chiefly found in certain species within the phylla Arthropoda, Chordata, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Annelida and Cnidaria.... More »
West Nile VirusLast Updated on 2012-08-23 00:00:00
Since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the United States have been reported as getting sick with West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus (WNV) that can cause serious, life altering disease.
West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know
CDC Fact Sheet
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What Is West Nile Virus?
West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. This fact sheet contains important information that can help you recognize and prevent West Nile virus.
What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?
New! Prevention measures consist of community-based mosquito control programs that are able to reduce vector populations, personal protection measures to... More »
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