Magnetoreception by honeybees (Apis mellifera) is demonstrated by such activities as comb building and homing orientation, which are affected by the geomagnetic field. In other magnetoreceptive species, iron oxide crystals in the form of magnetite have been shown to be necessary for primary detection of magnetic fields. Here it is shown that trophocytes, which are apparently the only iron granule—containing cells in honeybees, contain super-paramagnetic magnetite. These cells are innervated by the nervous system, which suggests that trophocytes might be primarily responsible for magnetoreception. Electron microscopy also shows cytoskeletal attachments to the iron granule membrane.

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University of Nottingham scientists spurred a slew of debate in 2008 when they claimed their object of study, the planaria or “flatworm”, might actually be immortal, possessing an indefinite ability to regenerate its cells and thus practically never grow old. In fact, an important distinction must be made, it’s not that the flatworm never grows old that’s interesting, it’s the fact that it stays forever young!

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P. Hidayat¹ and G.W. Watson2
¹) Department of Plant Protection, Bogor Agricultural University,
Jl. Kamper, Dramaga IPB Campus, Bogor 16680
2) California Department of Agriculture, Plant Pest Diagnostic Center
3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832, USA

The giant whitefly, Aleurodicus dugesii Cockerell (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is a neotropical species native to Central America. It has been recorded has been recorded from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela on more than 43 plant genera in 35 families, and is known to cause direct feeding damage to crops. The species has spread to southern parts of North America (Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas), and to Hawaii. In Indonesia, giant whitefly was first collected from Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in Cimanggu, Bogor in March 2007 and has since been recorded on at least 9 species of agricultural plants there. Its distinctive appearance in the field is unique in Indonesia, and can be recognized without a microscope. The closely-grouped immature stages on leaf undersides secrete numerous long, fine, white wax filaments, making the leaves appear bearded. The large adults (male 3.2 mm long, wingspan 5.2 mm) have white wings patterned with grey markings. The eggs of giant whitefly are laid in white wax spiral tracks on leaf undersides like those of spiraling whitefly (A. dispersus Russell), which is also present in Indonesia. However, spiraling whitefly immature stages secrete smaller quantities of shorter, curled wax filaments that do not hang conspicuously below the colony, and the adults (male 3.4 mm long, wingspan 5.1 mm) lack conspicuous grey markings on the wings.

* Abstract for the National Seminar of Indonesian Entomological Society. Cibinong, Bogor, 18 – 19th March  2008.