Shadowy world of nocturnal moth pollinators

Most flowering plants need animals to facilitate pollination and, globally, most studies have focused on daytime insect – honeybees are the best known – and bird pollinators. Other critters playing a hand include bats, butterflies, beetles, flies and small mammals. The role of moths, in contrast, hasn’t attracted much attention. “There’s a lot we don’t … Continue reading Shadowy world of nocturnal moth pollinators

Bubbles for plants and drones for mosquitoes

The answer to most things these days is an app or a drone, so it’s rare when one of these falls short of the mark, let alone when it’s replaced by something as simple as a bubble. But that’s what happened in Nomi, Japan, when scientists used soap bubbles to help pollinate a pear orchard … Continue reading Bubbles for plants and drones for mosquitoes

Step aside bees, the ants are pollinating

When you think pollination you typically don’t think ants, and with good reason. Ant pollinators are thought to be extremely rare. Researchers have now discovered, however, that flowering smokebush Conospermum plants in Australia’s southwest have evolved to enable ants to pollinate them as effectively as native bees. “This is the first plant species in the … Continue reading Step aside bees, the ants are pollinating