PUBLISHED ON January 26th, 2016
Many Seattle, WA residents enjoy picking apples from the boundless apple trees that the state is famous for, but what they probably don’t know is that the popular fruit is helping to answer a question that has puzzled scientists for decades. A recent apple-related discovery has both baffled and delighted researchers. For the first time in history, scientists have been able to observe the process of evolution in a fruit fly, as well as how it prompted three types of wasps to evolve into entirely new and separate species – all with the help of apples. In the mean time, Eden Pest is continuing to do our part in controlling the pests that invade our homes.
It All Started with an Apple Maggot
Biologists from five American universities have observed that ongoing evolutionary changes in a fruit fly species are causing corresponding changes in three separate types of predatory wasps. The Rhagoletis pomonella, which is commonly known as the apple maggot, was a significant nuisance for apple growers in the 1850s. Previous studies have revealed that changes in its mating and feeding habits have driven it to evolve into two completely different species. The recent research identifies the existence of an evolutionary process called sequential speciation, which is based on the theory that adaptation of one species doesn’t occur as an isolated process. The new species of fruit fly that is developing from the apple maggot has created an opportunity for the predatory wasps to exploit. When the wasps’ menu changed, they changed with it.
Why Are Changes in Fruit Flies and Wasps Important?
The evolutionary changes observed in the study are known as sequential, or cascading, events. Biologists believe that the process could help explain why organisms like plants and insects are naturally more diverse than other lifeforms and how the diversion of species could occur in a relatively short time. Perhaps these discoveries could eventually help humans better control insect populations, or even influence their evolution directly. In the meantime, we’ll have to rely on traditional extermination methods to maintain a careful ecological balance.
Although the emergence of new insects is fascinating, here at Eden Pest we are busy dealing with stubborn bugs like roaches, which never seem to try to improve themselves. Until our most annoying insect pests evolve into a less damaging and more pleasant form, you can rely on quality extermination services to keep them under control. Contact us to schedule an inspection today.