Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet

An international team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has described a bacterium residing in a species of leaf beetles which has an unexpected feature: it provides the beetle with the ...

Plants' chemical messages keep pests moving

When leaf beetle larvae eat goldenrod, the damaged plant emits a chemical message, which informs the insect that the plant is damaged and is a poor source of food. The airborne chemicals are also noticed by undamaged neighboring ...

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 ...

Evolution predictable for insects eating toxic plants

(Phys.org) -- The famous biologist Stephen J. Gould once asked: If we rerun the tape of life, would the outcome of evolution be the same? For years, scientists have questioned whether evolution is predictable, or whether ...

Poor plant defenses promote invasive beetle's success

(PhysOrg.com) -- Invasive species cost more than $100 billion a year in damages in the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. While most researchers attribute their success to a lack of natural ...

Host change alters toxic cocktail

(PhysOrg.com) -- Leaf beetles fascinate us because of their amazing variety of shapes and rich colouring. Their larvae, however, are dangerous plant pests. Larvae of the leaf beetle Chrysomela lapponica attack two different ...

Satellite spies on tree-eating bugs

More than 150 years after a small Eurasian tree named tamarisk or saltcedar started taking over river banks throughout the U.S. Southwest, saltcedar leaf beetles were unleashed to defoliate the exotic invader.

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