Insect Astronauts: Eclipse Watchers Learn About Entomology in Orbit

insect astronauts display

By Tanya Josek On August 21 in Goreville, Illinois, hundreds of people from the Midwest gathered at the town’s village park to witness a breathtaking event—a total solar eclipse. While there were lawn chairs, cameras, and telescopes scattered throughout the park—as you’d expect—the gathering also featured a group of outreach tables for pre-eclipse activities hosted […]

Parasitoid Flies Are Attracted to the Sounds of Their Cicada Hosts

By Ed Ricciuti Scientists have pondered why males of certain parasitoid fly species have ears that apparently function well enough but, as the Bible says, seemingly “do not hear,” while females with exactly the same auditory apparatus sonically locate cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets, and other hosts for their larvae. However, according to research published in the […]

How Do Cicadas Know When to Emerge from the Ground?

By Kevin Fitzgerald If you’ve never seen a cicada, you’ve certainly heard them, filling summer days and nights with their loud, raspy love songs. If you’ve seen any, you’re not likely to forget, since they are impressive insects. In the U.S., they grow up to 1.5 inches long, with wingspans of up to two inches. […]

Periodical Cicadas in Iowa, Summer of 2014

This summer, I found myself back in my home state of Iowa, where I had the privilege of witnessing the emergence of the periodical cicadas. In some areas of Iowa, the only thing that can be heard is the buzzing from an amazing number of male cicadas. Periodical cicadas in the genus Magicicada are unique […]

New Brood of Periodical Cicadas Discovered in Ohio and Northern Kentucky

A 13-year brood of periodical cicadas has been discovered in southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky, according to Gene Kritsky, Ph.D., professor of biology at the College of Mount St. Joseph. As we reported two weeks ago, he and his colleagues are asking people to send him photos of the cicadas along with location data about […]