Watch 3,000 insect specimen photos turned into a stunning animation

In 2004, Paul Bush released When Darwin Sleeps, 3,000 digital stills of insects in the Walter Linsenmaier in the Lucerne Nature Museum. They flash by so quickly they feel animated, or as if evolution itself is happening on screen. Now he's released a better quality copy than has been previously available online. Read the rest

Some fireflies have a dark side

From Deep Look:

Females of one firefly group, the genus Photuris, have learned to copy other fireflies’ flashes to attract the males of those species. When one arrives, she pounces, first sucking his blood, then devouring his insides...

Firefly light is biochemical. But fireflies like the Big Dippers do much more with chemistry than just make light. They can mix together an array of other compounds, including invisible pheromones for mating, and others called lucibufagins (“loosa-BOOF-ajins”) that ward off predators like spiders and birds.

At some point, the Photuris “femme fatale” fireflies lost the ability to make their own lucibufagins. So instead of chemistry, these bigger, stronger fireflies became adept at imitation, and evolved to turn into insect vampires to take these valuable compounds from other fireflies to boost their own defenses.

Read the rest

Family on overnight BA flight refused seat switch as they were gnawed by bedbugs

A family of three (including a 7 year old girl) on a British Airways overnight from Vancouver to London spotted bedbugs crawling on their seats and alerted the crew, but the crew said the flight was sold out and wouldn't move them, so they spent 9 hours getting gnawed by bedbugs, arriving with their skin "absolutely covered" in bites. Read the rest

About 40% of "worker" ants just hang around, doing nothing

Ants are cultural signifiers of busy industriousness, but a new paper in Plos One reveals that, across species, about 40% of "worker" ants spend most of their days doing nothing. Read the rest

Being poor in America means you get more mosquito bites

A team of public health researchers studies mosquito populations in neighborhoods in Baltimore, looking for correlation between socioeconomic status and mosquitoes. Read the rest

Videos show marvelous caterpillar diversity

Why does The Caterpillar Lab only have 44 subscribers? Caterpillars set to smooth jazz, like these gorgeous stinging rose caterpillars checking each other out, make this New Hampshire nonprofit a hidden gem. Read the rest

New honeybee sperm bank racing to halt bee decline

For years, entomologist Brandon Hopkins has argued for the establishment of a germplasm repository for cryopreservation of honey bee semen. Unfortunately, bee semen us very hard to collect and even harder to preserve, but Hopkins found better ways to extract and store their genetic material. Read the rest

Gorgeous metallic insects and skulls with engraved patterns

UK-based artist Billy Bogiatzoglou creates intricate images of engraved insects and skulls. The Engraved Entomology series has especially detailed beetles, dragonflies, and arachnids. Read the rest

After 60 years, man returns library book that clearly influenced his life

Larry Murdock just returned a library book that he checked out from the Linton, Indiana Public Library in 1956, when he was just 8 years old. The book is "Moths of the Limberlost." Murdock is now a Purdue University professor of entomology who specializes in the study of moths. He said the book turned up in a box.

"(Returning) it was the right thing to do," he said. "Maybe after all those years there are kids out there who might get some benefit" from the book.

Murdock paid a $436.44 fine.

(AP) Read the rest

China bans mentions of newly discovered species of beetle from social media

The Rhyzodiastes (Temoana) xii is a newly classified species of beetle, indigenous to China's Hainan Island, whose name is a tribute to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Read the rest

Bumblebees sense electricity with their fine hairs

In 2013, Gregory Sutton from the University of Bristol published an important paper demonstrating that bumblebees can sense electricity (his experiment trained bees to associate current in fake flowers with nutrients, and showed that bees preferentially sought out electrified flowers), but now how they sensed it. Read the rest

Infested: an itchy, fascinating natural history of the bed bug

The resurgence of the bed bug caught modern civilization flatfooted: an ancient pestilence dating back to the Pharoahs, gone for two generations, has returned with a vengeance, infesting fancy hotels and slums alike, lining our streets with mattresses spraypainted with the warning BEDBUGS. Infested, science writer Brooke Borel's natural history of the bed bug, looks at the bug's insurgency as a scientific, cultural, and economic phenomenon, and will leave you itching with delight.

Tender arthropod: mama centipede cradles her young

Ivealreadyreddit, who's working in Thailand, posted this picture of a tropical centipede cradling her newly hatched babies. Dawwww. Read the rest

Gin with distilled wood ants

Each bottle of Nordic Food Lab's Anty Gin contains formic acid distilled from approximately 62 wood ants. Read the rest

Anti-bedbug luggage uses heating elements to bake your stuff

Thermalstrike's heated luggage has plug-in elements that heat the contents of your bag to 140F before you unpack them, which should theoretically kill any bedbugs that hitched a ride home with you from the road (remember to take out your toiletries and electronics first!). Read the rest

Unused bed colonized by giant horrifying wasp-nest

Exterminator John Birkett found the bed in a house in Winchester, England, in a spare room that had not been entered for several months. The crocheted blanket was saved.

5,000 wasps found in St Cross bedroom [Andrew Napier/Hampshire Chronicle]

(Thanks, PD Smith!) Read the rest

A horrible way to kill fruitflies

Redditor Ergas has a disgusting way to lure fruit flies to a very personal fiery death. Read the rest

More posts