Ants communicate by mouth-to-mouth fluid exchange

Liquids shared mouth-to-mouth by social insects contain proteins and small molecules that can influence the development and organisation of their colonies, according to new findings published in eLife.

Transforming water fleas prepare for battle

Water fleas can thwart their enemies by growing defensive structures such as helmets and spines. What's more, this predator-induced 'arming' process is not a one-size-fits-all approach - they can even tailor their defensive ...

Metal ions regulate terpenoid metabolism in insects

Max Planck scientists in Jena, Germany, have discovered an unusual regulation of enzymes that catalyze chain elongation in an important secondary metabolism, the terpenoid pathway. In the horseradish leaf beetle Phaedon cochleariae ...

Draft sequence of monarch butterfly genome presented

Each fall millions of monarch butterflies from across the eastern United States use a time-compensated sun compass to direct their navigation south, traveling up to 2,000 miles to an overwintering site in a specific grove ...

Protein love triangle key to crowning bees queens?

A honey bee becomes a royal queen or a common worker as a result of the food she receives as a larva. While it has been well established that royal jelly is the diet that makes bees queens, the molecular path from food to ...