- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Insects trade bacteria by drinking from the same plant
Many insects suck the juices of plants, much to the dismay of gardeners and farmers. But plants are more than just a source of food; they’re also a source of bugs for bugs. Ayelet Caspi-Fluger from the Newe-Ya’ar Research Center has found that sap-sucking whiteflies can transfer bacteria into the plants they feed from, and these bacteria can then be picked up by other whiteflies. By plunging their straws into the same jug, the whiteflies can pass beneficial microbes to one another.
Insects carry a wide variety of bacteria inside their tissues, which help them digest their food and even grant them superpowers. These passengers are passed on from mother to youngsters, and across sexual partners. But they must also