I’m sorry, did you not hear me? I said THIS INSECT FARTS ON ITS PREY. »
KQED’s excellent science series Deep Look (previously here, here, and here—can you tell we’re fans?) just kicked off a new run of videos with an episode about how ants use leaves to harvest fungus. Which, sure, fungus harvesting is fascinating in its own right, but wait until you find out what the ants are harvesting… »
An international team of scientists have isolated a gene within the Aedes aegypti mosquito that partially transforms females into males. Since only females spread diseases by feasting on human blood, the discovery could lead to powerful population control strategies.
Scientists have shown that body-flinging escape jumps by trap-jaw ants are more than just a neat insectoid party trick.
“Eating bugs is a great idea!” shout future-minded gourmets, the kinds of people who eat waxworm tacos willingly and feed bug cookies to their coworkers. But are insects like crickets and grasshoppers really the solution to our environmental and food-security woes? Well... maybe not. Not entirely, at least. … »
Two of the most destructive species of invasive termites are joining forces in Florida. By mating together, they're forming prolific hybrid colonies. Scientists are now worried about the potential damage these insects will inflict on Florida's dwellings. »
One hundred fifty years ago, the Great French Wine Blight nearly wiped out an industry that today produces some 40 billion bottles of wine a year. The only solution was a radical fusion of species that remains essential to the success of the wine market. Here's the story of how humanity hacked the wine grape. »
Unlike ants and termites, individual cockroaches exhibit dynamic character traits, such as bravery and sociability. This may explain why cockroaches are such excellent survivors, capable of adapting to inhospitable and often unpredictable environments. »
Insects are fragile, and scientists researching them have to be very careful with their specimens. Unfortunately, the devices out there are expensive and size-specific. So a group of entomologists have turned to that most customizable of materials to serve their needs: Legos. »
"A scorpion's anus is at the end of its tail. If the tail breaks off, the scorpion can never poo again." – Ed Yong, describing a newly documented case of autotomy (i.e. self-amputation) in scorpions. If talk of collateral anus amputation doesn't make you want to read about scorpion tails, what the hell are you even… »
All insects possess the same fundamental body plan: A head, a thorax, and an abdomen. It is a testament to nature's twisted creativity that some of the grossest body parts in the animal kingdom can be found bursting, curling, and wiggling from these segments. Here are the 10 most repulsive insect body parts of all. »
Gall wasps belong to a family of insects that hoodwink oak trees into building a stunning array of structurally unique homes – called "galls" – for their parasitic larvae. »
Honestly, I'm not sure what to say except that YouTuber Precarious333's video of a Giant Texas Katydid (Neobarrettia spinosa) chirping, breathing, and grooming is way more captivating than I expected it to be. Full screen it, and crank it to the highest resolution your Internet connection can muster. You won't… »
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." So said Marie Curie, a brilliant scientist who had clearly never heard of the horrifying Hawaiian caterpillars that dine on living flesh. Here, we explore how evolution came to play this cruel joke on us all. »