Summary: During dormancy, insects vary greatly in how energy is stored and used. This Commentary discusses the current state, open questions and future directions in insect dormancy energetics research.
A meta-analysis of butterfly structural colors: their color range, distribution and biological production
Summary: A meta-analysis of 300 butterfly structural colors reviews their production mechanisms and determines the color range and phylogenetic distribution for each type of structure, uncovering evolutionary implications and testable hypotheses.
Roles of multi-level temperature-adaptive responses and microhabitat variation in establishing distributions of intertidal species
Summary: To explain current species distribution patterns and predict future patterns, multilevel (behavior to molecules) biological variation in thermal responses must be paired with refined spatiotemporal analyses of habitat temperature variation.
METHODS & TECHNIQUES
Summary: An experimental system and a pose-estimation algorithm for measuring the flight kinematics of fruit flies are presented. This method is robust, automatic, open source and generalizable to other species.
A key evolutionary step determining osmoregulatory ability for freshwater colonisation in early life stages of fish
Summary: Transcriptome analysis identifies osmoregulatory candidate genes for larval freshwater colonisation in a marine-originated goby group.
Early-life environmental effects on mitochondrial aerobic metabolism: a brood size manipulation in wild great tits
Highlighted Article: Increasing or reducing brood size affects great tit chick growth patterns but not their cellular metabolism; the number of individuals in the nest is associated with different cellular metabolic rates independently of the treatment.
Summary: Bats avoid oxidative stress in the face of a viral antigen, but experience high oxidative stress when exposed to bacterial or fungal antigens.
Summary: Antennal movements in the American cockroach highlight the active role of antennal motion in olfaction via efficient asymmetric sampling strategies, high-frequency oscillations and alteration of the odour environment structure.
The cost of movement: assessing energy expenditure in a long-distant ectothermic migrant under climate change
Highlighted Article: Models of the energy expenditure of a small ectothermic migrant under meteorological conditions that permit movement reveal the additional cost of transport under historical and future climate conditions.
Gravisensation and modulation of gravitactic responses by other sensory cues in the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Summary: Monarch butterflies can perceive and integrate multiple environmental cues from distinct sensory modalities (gravity, light, magnetic) to facilitate and guide oriented movement.
Mortality caused by extracellular freezing is associated with fragmentation of nuclear DNA in larval haemocytes of two drosophilid flies
Summary: Nuclear DNA fragmentation is strongly associated with mortality during freezing stress in freeze-sensitive insects, whereas freeze-tolerant insects can prevent this. Accumulation of proline during cold acclimation may contribute to the protection of nuclear DNA.
Summary: In many engineered power-amplified systems, the source of mechanical work and spring are distinct structures. During ex vivo dynamic muscle contractions, we found power amplification from springs within muscle itself.
High latitude northern bats (Eptesicus nilssonii) reveal adaptations to both high and low ambient temperatures
Summary: Measurement of energy consumption in normothermic Eptesicus nilssonii provides evidence that the species is adapted to a wide range of low and high ambient temperatures.
Highlighted Article: Hummingbirds fly sideways to navigate through narrow gaps, which lets them continue flapping and maintain level flight. They shift to a tucked coasting strategy as they gain experience.