In brief: Microplastics can be ingested by flying insects, Previously extinct butterfly has record year in England

Also in the news: Microplastics can be ingested by flying insects, Previously extinct butterfly has record year in England, £36m for clean energy innovation, Air pollution could cause 60,000 dementia cases each year, EfW plant refusing planning consent, Species that weathered intensive farming are well-equipped for the future...

The report points to successes such as the reintroduction of the large blue butterfly (photo: Peter Eeles/Butterfly Conservation)
Large blue butterfly

Microplastics can be ingested by flying insects, research shows

Researchers from the University of Reading have shown for the first time that microplastics can be transferred to freshwater flying insects during the early periods of their lifecycle. Scientists fed mosquito larvae - which live in water before they take to the skies - fluorescent polystyrene beads of varying sizes and found that microplastics smaller than 2µm transferred easily into the insects pupa and adult life stages. The findings “represent a potential aerial pathway to the contamination of new environments… thus any organism that feeds on terrestrial life phases of freshwater insects could be impactsed by microplastics found in aquatic ecosystems,” the study concludes. (RS)

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