The mosquito species Toxorhynchites rutilus is harmless to humans but is a voracious predator of other mosquitoes. Researchers in Houston, Texas, are hoping the “mosquito assassin” could be put into action as a tool for controlling mosquitoes that carry human pathogens—if they can find an efficient way to raise the predator mosquitoes in the lab.
Famous for their flashy colors, peacock spiders also emit vibrational signals during their mating dance. But why both kinds of courtship cues? And which kind matters more? Researchers have been studying peacock spiders to find out.
Hunting cicadas and lugging them back to a nest is hard work for a cicada-killer wasp. But sometimes all that hard work goes to waste, when a fellow wasp swoops in and lays her egg on the other wasp's prey. And that's if the cicada isn't stolen by a bird first.
The fat lower legs that dangle below flying wasps in the family Gasteruptiidae turn out to be filled with insect fat body, and they may play key roles in flight dynamics, detecting vibrations from prey, and even detoxification.
An opal discovered in Indonesia exhibits a rare inclusion: a preserved insect embedded within.