We've Identified Those Bugs Infesting Burning Man -- And It's Not Pretty [UPDATED]

Yesterday, Burning Man organizers revealed the truth: the annual desert arts festival is infested with bugs. Swarms of them. Piles of them. What are they? Why has nobody ever seen them before, in over two decades of building mega-party spaces in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert? We found out. »8/20/15 3:01am8/20/15 3:01am

Some Intriguing New Hints About What Ant Consciousness Is Really Like

They build cities. They farm. They make war. Ants do a lot of things that seem uncannily human — and yet they’re profoundly alien, part of a hive mind called a social organism. What does that feel like to each individual ant? Now a new scientific paper suggests that there is always doubt in the hive mind. »6/12/15 9:29pm6/12/15 9:29pm

Your Yard Is A Firefly Meet Market, And You Can Help Scientists Study It

The twinkly flashing lights of fireflies are a classic sign of summer, but the insects aren’t blinking for your aesthetic benefit. They’re courting in an absolutely cutthroat meet market, and some scientists are afraid that human activities could be making it harder for them to succeed. This summer, you can help… »6/08/15 5:48pm6/08/15 5:48pm

Three Things You Probably Didn't Know About Crab Lice

Crab lice (Pthirus pubis) aren’t crabs at all—they’re parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood, and their bites can cause intense itching in their hosts. Often, this itching happens in the pubic area, which is why they’re also known as “pubic lice”—which, it turns out, is actually a misnomer. »5/15/15 4:54pm5/15/15 4:54pm

This Shrub Uses a Moonlight Beacon to Signal That It's Ready for Sex

When it’s time for sex, many plants literally tap into animal appetites, attracting them with the promise of sugar and smearing them with pollen while they eat. But if you’re going to rely on a third party for sex, you need some really good advertising. One recent study has identified a plant that makes a beacon out… »5/06/15 2:13pm5/06/15 2:13pm

The Forgotten Era: When Bed Bugs Were Tested for Combat in Vietnam

In 2004, Brooke Borel got bed bugs in New York. Then she experienced them again in 2009—twice in two different apartments. Because of those experiences, which were part of a widespread bed bug resurgence in the US, Borel, a science journalist, decided to explore why the bugs were back. This excerpt is one of many… »4/27/15 11:40am4/27/15 11:40am