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July 15, 2021 Thursday 01:17:10 PM IST

Real Beetles Not Sci-fi

International Edu News

Sarah Smith and Anthony Cognato, both entomologists at Michigan State University discovered more than three dozen species of ambrosia beetles -beetles that eat ambrosia funguspreviously unknown to science. They have named them after iconic female science fiction characters, including Nyota Uhura of Star Trek, Kara of Starbuck, Thrace from Battlestar Galactica TV series and Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games. These tiny beetles make their homes by boring into trees and cultivating fungus that serves as food. These beetles can pose threat to trees. There are species within the genus known to attack balsa trees in Ecuador, the world’s leading exporter of balsa wood.