SUNY ESF graduate student Mike Jones is studying parasitic wasp as predators of the emerald ash borer. Photo credit: Ellen Abbott, WRVO
By Ellen Abbott. (WRVO) Scientists are going to war against an invasive insect that’s decimating the ash tree population in central New York, by using one of its natural predators. While these tiny wasps may not stop the current infestation in its tracks, they may help deal with these kinds of things in the future. SUNY ESF graduate student Mike Jones spends a lot of time scraping the bark off of dead ash trees.
The body and wings of the dragonfly Pantala flavescens have evolved in a way that lets the insect glide extraordinary distances on weather currents. Credit: Greg Lasley
A dragonfly barely an inch and a half long appears to be animal world’s most prolific long distance traveler – flying thousands of miles over oceans as it migrates from continent to continent – according to newly published research in the journal PLOS ONE. Biologists at Rutgers University found that populations of this dragonfly in locations as far apart as Texas, eastern Canada, Japan, Korea, India, and South America, have genetic profiles so similar that there is only one likely explanation. Apparently, these insects are traveling extraordinarily long distances, and they are breeding with each other, creating a common worldwide gene pool that would be impossible if they did not intermingle. “This is the first time anyone has looked at genes to see how far these insects have traveled,” said Jessica Ware, senior author of the study.