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Category: Amazing Insects

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

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.

Epicauta chinensis blister beetle

What Puts the Blister Into Blister Beetles?

By John P. Roche Blister beetles produce cantharidin, a 10-carbon isoprenoid molecule that is highly bitter and is toxic to most animals. Because cantharidin is so bitter, it discourages predators, […]