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Category: Amazing Insects

Amazing insect stories, insects in pop culture, and answers to common bug questions

Paederus fuscipes rove beetle and Skeeter drone model

The Sting of Defeat: A Brief History of Insects in Warfare

In the course of history, entomology has at times intersected with humanity's militaristic motives. From deploying harmful insects against enemies to modeling technological advances on insect biomechanics, explore some of the ways insects have been used in human warfare.

Onychophoran and Lepidopteran Mimic - side-by-side

Is This Caterpillar Trying to Look Like a Velvet Worm?

A team of researchers from Western University in Ontario reports the discovery of velvet worms living in tree mosses in Amazonian cloud forest in Ecuador as well as a caterpillar of unknown species that they propose to be a Batesian mimic of the velvet worm.

four invasive insects

Invasive Insects: The Top 4 “Most Wanted” List

The list of invasive insects in the United States is a long one, but one entomologist offers his list of the top four "most wanted"—plus a note about how entomologists are working to better manage the challenge of invasive insect species.

Bactrocera dorsalis

Gut Microbes Can Help Insects Beat Pesticides

Insects have evolved a variety of mechanisms to try to overcome the effects of insecticides—including, in some cases, help from the bacteria and other microbes living in insects' guts. A growing number of studies indicate a link between symbiotic microbes and insecticide resistance in a diverse range of insects.

termites eat wooden house replica

This is What 2,000 Termites Eating a Model House Looks Like

A visual analogy created by termite researcher Thomas Chouvenc, Ph.D., illustrates the damage termites can wreak upon a house. Given a small, two-dimensional wooden replica of a house (30x20 cm, 2 mm thick), a colony of 2,000 Formosan subterranean termites took only three weeks to consume it.

spotted lanternfly - Lycorma delicatula

Spotted Lanternfly: States Urge Citizens to Report Sightings of Invasive Insect Hitchhiker

First encountered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014, the spotted lanternfly had spread to New York, Delaware, and Virginia by early 2018. The invasive insect threatens Tree of Heaven as well as grapes, hops, and fruit trees, and it has a penchant for hitchhiking. Anyone sighting spotted lanternfly is urged to report it to their state agriculture department or local extension office.

American cockroach - Periplaneta americana

Explorer or Wallflower? Study Shines Light on Cockroach Personalities

American cockroaches show different individual "personalities" that relate to their fleeing behavior and preference for venturing into open spaces or remaining close to walls or other objects. A new study suggests these differences could be an evolutionary benefit for their collective fleeing response.