Insects

Pictures: Rare Bees Make Flower-Mud “Sandwiches”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 10, 2010   View Article

What appears to be part of a spring wedding bouquet is actually a nest for a rare species of solitary bee, a new study says.

Called a “flower sandwich,” the three-tiered arrangement consists of a thin layer of petals on the outside, then a layer of mud, and finally another layer of petals lining the inside of the chamber, according to study leader Jerome Rozen, a curator of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

At the core of the sandwich is the bee’s larva, which feasts on nectar and pollen deposited inside the chamber by its parent before the egg is laid and the nest is sealed.

New Species Pictures: “Ugly” Salamander and More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 16, 2009   View Article

See an E.T.-like amphibian, a prickly lizard, a katydid that sends vibrating valentines, and more—all potential new species found in remote Ecuadorian mountains.

Lizards Evolving Rapidly to Survive Deadly Fire Ants

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 21, 2009   View Article

Long legs and skittish behavior are recently evolved traits that allow fence lizards in the southeastern U.S. to co-exist with lethal and invasive fire ants, according to a new study.

The new findings could boost hopes for species whose habitats are quickly changing due to climate change, experts say.

Tiny Radio Tags Offer Rare Glimpse into Bees’ Universe

Publication: National Geographic magazine   Date: November 14, 2008   View Article

A National Geographic grantee is pioneering the use of supersmall radio tracking tags that fit on the backs of bees, a technological breakthrough that may provide him and other scientists with a direct view of the pollinators’ flight patterns.

Inland Ants Crave Salt

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 28, 2008   View Article

Salt-deprived animals and insects living far inland from some coasts may benefit if global warming increases hurricane intensity, a new study suggests.

Vampire Moth Discovered – Evolution at Work

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 27, 2008   View Article

A previously unknown population of vampire moths has been found in Siberia. And in a twist worthy of a Halloween horror movie, entomologists say the bloodsuckers may have evolved from a purely fruit-eating species.

Environment Photos Weekly: Drought, Deadly Storm, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 25, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of environmental issues and events in the news. Shots include a fashion show in Indonesia with a “Fashion Meets Nature” theme, a water delivery tunnel through California mountains, Tropical Storm Fay in Georgia, a deadly drought in Indonesia, and torrential rains in Nepal.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach