Information

What insect is this with furry wings?


Found this on the wall of my house in Kuching, Sarawak, MALAYSIA It is a tiny black triangular shaped insect.


That is a Moth Fly, also known as a Drain Fly. It is in the order, Diptera, family Psychodidae. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drain_fly


Biology Snippets


Todays guest blogger is Mandi.

What advantage does that give them over insects with a single set of wings? Flying insects typically have 4 wings: a set on the mesothorax and a secondary set on the metathorax. While normally, only one set of wings is necessary for flying, the insects use their wings for an array of different uses.

Some secondary sets of wings are used for protection. These types of wings are generally much thicker and denser than the feathery flight wings beetles, for example, have tough wings for added protection. Other wings are designed to act as an insulator or temperature regulator for the insect. A more common and logical use of the second set of wings however, is an in-flight stabilizer. The wings not flapping in flight can be used by certain insects to prevent uncontrolled spinning, teetering, wobbling, or falling while flying in strong winds or difficult circumstances.

Other winged insects such as grasshoppers or crickets use their legs and hind wings to make their chirping. The coordinated efforts of rubbing the legs and hind wings produce mating calls and facilitate reproduction. Similarly, the appearance of wings can allow easy recognition of species and attraction of potential mates. Hind wings rarely flap to keep insects in flight insects second set of wings are another example of how structure fits function.


Life cycle of woolly alder aphid

The alternate common name for woolly alder aphid (Prociphilus tessellatus) is the maple blight aphid because of the dense, white, woolly masses it produces on the leaves and twigs of its primary host, silver maple (and occasionally red maple). The aphids on the trees are wingless, plump, gray, and concealed beneath their own dense, white, waxy strands. These feed on sap from the maple trees from the time of bud-break until late June. Then winged adults, some with abdomens covered in white fluffy wax, are produced in the colonies. These winged migrants readily fly when disturbed and create the illusion of tiny masses of cotton floating through the air. These aphids are leaving the maple trees and flying to alders where they will establish new colonies on the secondary host. Woolly alder aphids require both alder and maple trees to complete their life cycle.


Woodboring beetles with larvae commonly known as woodworm include: [2] [3]

    (weevils of the subfamilies Scolytinae and Platypodinae) (Pentarthrum huttoni and Euophryum confine) or waney edge borer (Ernobius mollis) (Anobium punctatum) (Xestobium rufovillosum) (Hylotrupes bajulus) (Lyctus brunneus) (Narcerdes melanura)

Signs of woodworm usually consist of holes in the wooden item, with live infestations showing powder (faeces), known as frass, around the holes. The size of the holes varies, but are typically 1mm to 1.5mm in diameter for the most common household species, although they can be much larger in the case of the house longhorn beetle. Adult beetles that emerge from wood may also be found in the summer months.

Typically the adult beetles lay eggs on or just under the surface of a wooden item. The resulting grubs then feed on the wooden item causing both structural and cosmetic damage. They then pupate and hatch as beetles that then breed, lay eggs and repeat the process, causing further damage.

As these beetles are accustomed to consuming decaying wood in forests, most grubs will prefer wooden items that contain a higher moisture content than that of typical household items.

A building with a woodworm problem in its structure or furniture may also have a problem with excess moisture. The issue could be the result of a lack of ventilation in a roof space, cellar or other enclosed space within an otherwise dry building.

Whilst moisture is a leading factor resulting in a woodworm infestation, some species of woodboring insects, such as the woodboring weevil, are only found where fungal rot has already begun.

Depending on the species involved, woodworm infestation is generally controlled with insecticides. However, some woodworm conditions, such as those caused by the waney edge borer (Ernobius mollis), require no treatment at all because the insect will have been killed in the preparation of the wood. [4] Only active infestations require treatment, so it is important to ascertain whether an infestation is still active before treatment is carried out. [3] It is also advisable to investigate and solve possible dampness issues, as dry wood is not usually affected, and wood that remains damp may be reinfected at a later date.

Electrical insect killers, which attract and kill adult beetles before they can breed, may be used along with conventional chemical treatments to kill adult beetles before they can breed, but the effectiveness of such an approach is unknown.

Freezing treatments are quite effective but are costly, take two to three weeks to work and may cause damage. Low-oxygen treatment is also effective but is costly and very time-consuming, taking as long as eight weeks to treat the problem.

In places such as Cambodia, South Africa, the Philippines [5] and Papua New Guinea, woodworms may be considered edible delicacies.


Crane Flies, Family Tipulidae

Katya / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

This is a crane fly. People often think these are really big mosquitoes. Admittedly, many crane flies do kind of look like mosquitoes on steroids, but they're completely harmless, just like midges. They're called crane flies for their incredibly long legs, like those of the similarly long-limbed birds. Many members of this group dwarf the typical mosquito, but not all crane flies are giants.


The Characteristics of Insect Order Diptera

The insect order Diptera consists of the insects commonly known as true flies, mosquitoes, midges and gnats. This order is made up of 130 families that contain over 98,000 species. Although it is not the largest order of insects, Diptera is definitely the most infamous thanks in part to the mosquito and fly species that it contains.

The Greek words di and ptera traslate to &ldquotwo wings&rdquo which describes the number of wings found on species belonging to the order Diptera. Unlike other insects like bees and wasps which have four wings, flies, mosquitoes, gnats and midges only have two wings that they are able to use for flight. Their remaining two wings have been reduced to club-like appendages, which are known as halteres, are useless for flight but instead are used to maintain balance while the insect is flying. It is the presence of two wings, rather than four, that define a fly or other insect belonging to this order from other winged insects.

Common characteristics that all members of Diptera share besides having two wings is that they all go through complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, adult). The larva of Diptera differs from other insects as that they are legless and will either have a head with chewing mouth parts (culiciform) or no head with only rudimentary mouth hooks for feeding (veriform). Culiciform-type larvae are typical in mosquitoes while veriform-type larvae are typical in true flies and are commonly referred to as maggots. All Diptera larva live in aquatic or moist environments where they feed on plant and animal material.

The order Diptera is split into two suborders which are Nematocera and Brachycera. Nematocera includes the fine-bodied flies with long antennae such as mosquitoes, crane flies, and midges. Brachycera includes the flies that are thicker in body size and have shorter antennae such as house flies, horse flies and robber flies.

Families of Diptera can also be categorized into groups based on their behavior and/or lifestyle. There are five main categories which include biting flies, the herbivores, scavengers, predators, and parasites.

The biting fly group consists of all of the flies that are able to pierce and bite using mouth parts that are adapted to do so. This group includes mosquitoes, horse flies, black flies, moth flies, no-see-ums, and the common house flies.

The herbivorous group is made up of the flies whos larva eat plant material. Fruit flies and gall midges are representatives of this group.

The scavenger group includes species that feed off of rotting and decomposing waste or other organic matter found in soil or dung during their larval stage. Crane flies, blow flies, pomace flies and flesh flies are all part of this group.

The predatory species prey on other insects as either adults or larva. Flies belonging to this group include robber flies, dance flies, bee flies and flower flies.

The parasitic group parasatize other organisms internally or externally as larva or adults. This group includes marsh flies, bot flies and louse flies.

All of these groups share the common characteristics of the order Diptera with their similar body and wing structure and complete cycle of metamorphosis. Because of the many similarities that the members of this order share, many species of flies are extremely adaptable and can be found globally in every corner of the earth. As long as they are able to find a suitable food source for the larva to feed from, flies will be able to survive and thrive just about anywhere. Although many species are regarded as pests and disease carriers, there are flies that serve as important pollinators for many crops. These beneficial flies too often take the backseat while their aggressive, disease spreading relatives are in the spotlight.


New 'Fairy' Insect Is Mind-Blowingly Small

A new species of tiny fly named after the fairy in "Peter Pan" is mind-blowingly miniscule, with delicate wings trimmed in fringe.

Tinkerbella nana is a newly discovered species of fairyfly from Costa Rica. Fairyflies are a type of chalcid wasp, and almost all are parasites, living on the eggs and larvae of other insects. It's a gruesome way to live, but it makes fairyflies useful for farmers, who sometimes import them to control nasty pests.

Many fairyflies are extraordinarily tiny, including Kikiki huna, a Hawaiian species that grows to be only 0.005 inches (0.13 millimeters) long &mdash about the diameter of the tip of a fine drawing pen. This makes them tough to find, but researchers led by John Huber of Natural Resources Canada conducted their search by seeking out insect eggs in leaf litter, soil and on plants in the Costa Rican province of Alajeula.

There, they found specimens of T. nana, none of which were more than 250 micrometers in length. One micrometer is a thousandth of a millimeter.

Under the microscope, these teeny-tiny insects reveal fine detail, particularly their long, skinny wings, which terminate in hairlike fringe. This wing shape may help ultra-small insects reduce turbulence and drag when they fly, a feat that requires beating their wings hundreds of times per second.

Researchers don't know how small insects can get, Huber said.

"If we have not already found them, we must surely be close to discovering the smallest insects," he said in a statement. The researchers published their discovery today (April 24) in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research.


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Special BSB/CBA Seminar

Although the immense success of insects can be attributed to various traits, the wing is the signature character of this clade, which has allowed insects to explore a variety of niches via powered flight, and has also served as an evolutionary medium for the emergence of new traits (such as camouflage, mimicry, armoring, and communication). So, considering the significance of wings during insect evolution, it is somewhat surprising that the origin of this evolutionarily prominent structure is still a hotly debated mystery.

Through investigations in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, we have previously obtained functional evidence supporting the idea that the insect wing has a dual evolutionary origin, having evolved from the merger of two distinct tissues (i.e. tergal and pleural tissues). To further evaluate this hypothesis from an evo-devo perspective, we have been analyzing the development of wing-related tissues in a wide taxonomy of organisms, through which we have made several interesting findings that can help decipher the origin of insect wings. For example, in the crustacean Parhyale, our expression and genome-editing analyses have revealed that the evolution of a wing-like gene network precedes the emergence of insect wings, and this network operates in two distinct crustacean tissues. In Tribolium, we found that the formation of ectopic wings induced by homeotic transformations in otherwise wingless segments requires the merger of two separate groups of tissues. We also found that there are two lineages of wing-related tissues in the cockroach Blattella, suggesting that our findings in Tribolium can be generalizable. Furthermore, through an enhancer analysis in Drosophila and Tribolium, we identified several wing enhancers that are also active in terga or pleura, suggesting a shared transcription landscape between wings and these two proposed origin tissues.

In this talk, I will showcase these findings and discuss how our results support the idea that the insect wing is composed of two separate lineages of tissues (of tergal and pleural nature), and therefore further support a dual evolutionary origin of insect wings. In addition, I will also discuss a chromatin profiling-based strategy to identify transcriptional enhancers, which allows enhancer studies even in non-traditional insect models.

Dr. Yoshinori Tomoyasu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Miami University. His research interest revolves around understanding the genetic and genomic mechanisms underlying morphological evolution. Some of his research highlights include the finding of distinct Hox action between beetles and flies, uncovering the multiple co-options of exoskeleton formation during beetle wing evolution, and gaining new insight into the evolutionary origin of insect wings as well as establishing new protocols, eg. RNAi-based gene knockdown technique during post-embryonic development in insects. Currently, his research group is at the forefront of applying various modern genetic and genomic techniques, such as RNAi-based gene knockdown, transcriptome analysis via RNAseq, genome-wide chromatin profiling, and CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing, to non-traditional model organisms.

Yoshinori's visit to Canberra is funded by the Centre for Biodiversity Analysis. Hosts: Maja Adamska (ANU) and Hermes E. Escalona and Adam Slipinski (CSIRO).


Ancestor of humans and other mammals was small furry insect eater

An identikit picture of a small furry ancestor of humans and most other mammals has been pieced together by scientists.

The shrew-like creature weighed less than half a pound, had a long tail and ate insects. It evolved some 200,000 years after a massive asteroid impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

From this small beginning sprang every "placental" mammal – which give birth to mature live young – including dogs, cats, rodents, whales and humans.

Placental mammals are the largest branch of the mammalian family tree, with more than 5,100 living species. Non-placental mammals comprise kangaroos and other marsupials, and egg-laying monotremes such as the duck-billed platypus.

Experts recorded 4,500 physical traits for 86 mammalian species, including 40 that are now extinct. The features, which include the presence or absence of wings, teeth, and bone types, produced a data set 10 times larger than any used before to study mammalian ancestry.

Combined with molecular information from DNA samples, it allowed the scientists to pinpoint the likely start of the story of placental mammals.

Recent work has suggested that the group's origins date back long before the death of the dinosaurs. The new US research, reported in the journal Science, confirms an earlier hypothesis that our ancestors only flourished after the dinosaurs departed, leaving ecological niches for them to fill.

Dr Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, who co-led the study, said: "With regards to evolution, it's critical to understand the relationships of living and fossil mammals before asking questions about 'how' and 'why'.

"This gives us a new perspective of how major change can influence the history of life, like the extinction of the dinosaurs. This was a major event in Earth's history that potentially then results in setting the framework for the entire ordinal diversification of mammals, including our own very distant ancestors."

His colleague Dr Maureen O'Leary, from Stony Brook University in New York, compared the work to a detective investigation.

"Discovering the tree of life is like piecing together a crime scene," she said. "It is a story that happened in the past that you can't repeat. Just like with a crime scene, the new tools of DNA add important information, but so do other physical clues like a body or, in the scientific realm, fossils and anatomy. Combining all the evidence produces the most informed reconstruction of a past event."


See this colorful, fuzzy caterpillar in Michigan? Don’t touch it

DETROIT – It’s no big surprise to see a caterpillar roaming around in Michigan in the summer -- but this particular one is not to be messed with, even though it looks cool.

The White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Orgyialeucostigma) looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland. It is common in North America in summer months, mostly in the south and eastern states, although they have expanded north for several years. They are considered widespread in Michigan.

They’re hard to miss. They have long brown hairs, a yellow-ish body, long antenna-like hairs on front and back and multiple white poofs on its back. (More scientifically from MSU: Full grown larvae have a bright red head with a yellowish body, a pair of upright pencil tufts of black hairs on the prothorax, and four white to yellowish brushlike tufts of hairs on the top of the body toward the head.)

Some information on the species here from MSU Extension:

This insect has two generations in southern Michigan with peaks of larvae on bushes in June and again in August, and peaks of moth activity in late June and late August. The whitemarked tussock moth overwinters in the egg stage within a large mass of eggs nestled in a hard foam that is wrapped inside a dry leaf. These are usually found on stems and are visible during pruning.

The eggs hatch during bloom and larvae stay close to the egg mass at first, dispersing in the plant canopy after a few days. Larvae feed in the shady parts of the canopy until full grown in late June/early July. At this point, they pupate on the bush and emerge in July as adult moths. The female moth is flightless and stays on the leaf she pupated in, mating and laying eggs in this same position.

The insect can be damaging to crops and woodlands, but luckily, there are enough predators to keep the species in check.

Why you shouldn’t touch it

It’s not going to kill you, so don’t worry too much. But it could give you a bad rash.

Like other tussock moths, white-marked tussock moth caterpillars have urticating hairs (stinging hairs). The hairs are not attached to venom glands like the hairs and bristles on more dangerous caterpillars, but they can puncture the skin causing hives and skin rashes on individuals who are highly sensitive to the irritation.


Watch the video: Oι TOP 10 Πιο Επικίνδυνες ΑΡΑΧΝΕΣ Του Κόσμου. TopTenGR (December 2021).