Images of the butterfly scales (left) and damselfly wing wax filaments (right) located in the white wing patch. These images were taken using a scanning electron microscope.

Insect mimicry: more than meets the eye

David Outomuro of University of Pittsburgh delves into the deceptive worlds of insect mimicry and explains why all may not be as it seems This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural world. Click here to read the rest of the colour countdown series Have you ever noticed that bumblebees usually … Continue reading Insect mimicry: more than meets the eye

Jodi Sedlock and the experimental rice paddy plots at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Philippines. (photo by Nina Ingle)

Can ultrasonic katydid choruses degrade foraging habitat for wild bats?

Jodi Sedlock, photographer and researcher for our December cover story takes us behind her research and reminds us all that even when plans go out the window, there’s still a silver lining! About the paper The high-pitched buzz of katydid mating calls caught my attention while recording the cries of bats swooping and diving over rice paddies in the Philippines. While other researchers were tracking … Continue reading Can ultrasonic katydid choruses degrade foraging habitat for wild bats?

Vianney Denis: Trophic plasticity of corals

Vianney Denis, Associate Professor at National Taiwan University in Taiwan, discusses his recently accepted paper, “Trophic plasticity of mixtrophic corals under contrasting environments.” About the paper To be picky or to not be picky? That is an important question when it comes to corals’ diet. Our paper explored the trophic plasticity of important mixotrophs -organisms able to blend autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition- at the base … Continue reading Vianney Denis: Trophic plasticity of corals

The representatives of the four major cephalopod groups include the living fossil Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius (Osprey Reef, Australia)) and 3 coleoids, cuttlefish (Sepia apama (Whyalla, Australia)), squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana (Moreton Bay, Australia) and octopus (Octopus sinensis (Aodi, Taiwan)) (Photos by Wen-Sung Chung).

Can cephalopods see what fishes see?

Wen-Sung Chung of the University of Queensland takes us on a deep dive into the complex and contradictory world of cephalopod vision and colour use. How are colour-blind animals able to display such a flamboyant variety of colours? Read on to find out This blog is part of our colourful countdown to the holiday season where we’re celebrating the diversity and beauty of the natural … Continue reading Can cephalopods see what fishes see?

Ximena and Juan (husband) preparing samples for carbon nitrogen analysis at HIE. Image courtesy of Ximena Cibils-Stewart

Silicon or symbionts? Grasses use both types of anti-herbivore defences

Ximena Cibils-Stewart recently submitted her doctoral dissertation at The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, and is currently an adjunct scientist at the Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (http://www.inia.uy/en) in Uruguay. In her doctoral work her main focus was to evaluate how silicon-supplementation in combination with beneficial symbionts (i.e. endophytes) enhances grass resistance to insect pests. In this Behind the Paper, she talks about … Continue reading Silicon or symbionts? Grasses use both types of anti-herbivore defences

Photo: A nest of the African social spider Stegodyphus dumicola in Namibia. The nest consists of thick silk layers with multiple entry holes underneath the nest, facing the ground. A large capture web extends from the nest, and a few spiders can be seen active on the web. The spiders are predominantly inactive during the day and remain inside the nest, unless they attack prey intercepted in the web. The spiders move to the area immediate below the nest to cool down at peak summer temperatures. They are active in web maintenance activities at dusk and dawn. (Photo Trine Bilde).

Trine Bilde: Responses to thermal stress in a social spider

Trine Bilde, Professor of Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Biology at Aarhus University, discusses with us her recently accepted paper, “Behavioural and physiological responses to thermal stress in a social spider”. About the paper What’s your paper about? The study investigates behavioural and physiological adaptations to temperature stress in a desert living social spider, specifically behavioural changes in microhabitat use, and whether the wax … Continue reading Trine Bilde: Responses to thermal stress in a social spider

Luan (left) and Prof. Shirong Liu (right) visit a cloud forest close to Curitiba in Brazil during 2019 IUFRO XXV congress.

Junwei Luan: accounting for bamboo effects in soil nutrient cycling

In our new post, Junwei Luan from International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan (China) presents his last work ‘’Litter decomposition affected by bamboo expansion is modulated by litter-mixing and microbial composition’, discusses about the effects of commercial plantations in ecosystems and shares his research career experiences.   About the paper Our paper is about how a native woody grass (Moso bamboo, Phyllostachys edulis­) expansion alters forest … Continue reading Junwei Luan: accounting for bamboo effects in soil nutrient cycling

Lara Ferry

We welcome our new Executive Editor, Lara Ferry

Hello!  I am so thrilled to be able to write this post and introduce myself to you all!  Some of you have surely worked with me in the past several years as I have been a Senior Editor for the journal, Functional Ecology, for about four years now.  I am sure I will be getting to know even more of you soon.  I am excited … Continue reading We welcome our new Executive Editor, Lara Ferry

Amber Wright - Photo by Laci Gerhart-Barley

Amber Wright: Sticky toes and grippy claws

lizards use habitat in ways that match their clinging ability In this month’s cover image story we see that lizards vary in their ability to cling to different kinds of surfaces, and how this can lead to species sharing habitat.  How can lizards stick to smooth surfaces? Have you ever seen a lizard run up a window and wondered how they do it? Geckos and … Continue reading Amber Wright: Sticky toes and grippy claws

"Bat Sunset" by ejmc is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Bat Week Quiz

It’s bat week this week, and we’re celebrating with a quiz all about our lovely winged relatives. Bats are some of the most fascinating and diverse groups of mammals, the only mammals to live on every continent on earth (except Antarctica) bats fly using wings that are highly adapted hands. Think you know all about our echolocating friends? Test your knowledge with this quiz then … Continue reading Bat Week Quiz