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Parasitic beetle mimics the perfume of female bees to trick males, infiltrate nests

Parasitic beetle mimics the perfume of female bees to trick males, infiltrate nests

Science
Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Blister beetles are chemical con artists, and according to new research, they can adapt their trickery to dupe a variety of bee species. During one of several larval stages, Meloe franciscanus beetles infiltrate bee nests by mimicking the chemicals emitted by female bees -- perfume-like compounds called pheromones. The perfume attracts males, which the larvae attach themselves to, hitching a ride back to the nest. Once in the nest, the beetle larvae can subsist on pollen, nectar and bee eggs, emerging as adult bees the following winter. New analysis of the parasite's chicanery showed blister beetle larvae adapt their chemical ploy to match the perfume of the local bees species. When scientists exposed two different bees species -- Habropoda pallida from California's Moj...
Salamander found to reproduce using the sperm of at least three males

Salamander found to reproduce using the sperm of at least three males

Science
June 12 (UPI) -- Why pass along the genes of a single mate when you can impart one's offspring with DNA from three fathers? Such is the unique reproductive strategy used by hybrid all-female populations of ambystomatid salamanders.When biologists from the University of Iowa sequenced the genome of all-female, or unisexual, salamanders, they found equal portions of DNA from three different species, Ambystoma laterale, Ambystoma texanum and Ambystoma tigrinum."We're hypothesizing the successful individuals have balanced gene expression," Maurine Neiman, a professor of biology at Iowa, said in a news release. "This balance might have been a prerequisite for the emergence and continued success of this particular hybrid lineage."Researchers believe all-female salamanders employ a reproductive t...