Mountain Pine Beetle flight test, University of Alberta, Canada. Photo by @peteressick on assignment for @natgeo. I have just started a story on the mountain pine beetle, an insect the size of a grain of rice that has been killing millions of trees in Western Canada and the American West. At a lab at the University of Alberta, researchers glue a leash on the beetle and see how far they can fly a few days after they hatch. This is important information because it gives an idea about the ability of the beetle to spread. It turns out the average beetle can fly about 6km and one flew 24 km, quite far and making it hard to control . The beetle is pictured at 2-3x life size.
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