Category Archives: insects

A beetle to end the week

What better way to console ourselves in Times of Trouble than to look at animals? Here, from biologist/photographer Piotr Nackrecki’s Facebook page (his website is here), is a gorgeous beetle with a political caption: We are only hours into the new presidency and I have already been attacked for merely documenting how the nation reacts to […]

A new moth species named after Donald Trump

I suppose this is the appropriate day for a biology post relating to our new (ack!) President. In particular, reader Brigette Zacharczenko, a graduate student in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Connecticut who studies moths (and is also a powerlifter), called my attention to a new species of moth named after The Donald—as well as several […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Joshua Lincoln sent us some lovely photos of damselflies; his notes are indented: My friend Wally once said that birds are a gateway drug for dragonflies.  I don’t think that it could be put any better than that. I will include some Anisopterans (dragonflies; aniso=different ptrery=wing; the front and back wings are different in […]

The tiniest moths: the Philodoria of Hawaii

Doctoral Student Chris Johns at the University of Florida made this lovely ten-minute video about endemic (“native”) Hawaiian “micromoths” and their caterpillars (genus Philodoria), as well as about those who study them. Do watch the whole thing. The caterpillars are “leaf miners”, eating the insides of leaves (this affords them protection from predators), and many of the […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have two contributors today. Reader Ivar sent some diverse photos, and we’ll have some moths (not from readers) later today. His notes are indented. I bought an exceptionally versatile new lens that has helped create beautiful bird images as well as bugs in good detail. Grasshopper– I don’t know for species details [readers?]- caught […]

Remarkable katydid leaf mimics whose sexes are different colors

Ready for another science post? The laws of physics deemed that today there would be two. A new paper in the Journal of Orthoptera Research by Sigfrid Ingrisch et al. (free link if you join Researchgate [also free]; reference below) describes two recently-discovered and newly-described katydids from Sabah (part of Malaysia on the northern part of […]

Selective tool use in ants

You’re probably aware that tool use, once considered a uniquely human phenomenon, has now been documented widely in primates and birds. You may not know, though, that it’s also been seen in some insects, as in wasps that use pebbles to close off their burrows after laying eggs. Ants, too, have been seen to use […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Brisbane sent some lovely photos of models and mimics in an email called “Lycid beetle mimicry”. These beetles, in the family Lycidae, are toxic. When a tasty species (“mimic”) imitates a toxic one, it’s called Batesian mimicry. When distasteful species resemble each other, it’s called Müllerian mimicry. All readers should have learned […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

I have only about five days’ worth of readers’ photos in the tank, so do send me your good wildlife pics! Reader Rob Bate sent two pictures of an Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella)and a gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), and I’ve recovered his notes, which he kindly re-sent. His trip to the polar regions, which was […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Today we have a fantastic set of photos from reader Linden Gledhill (flickr site here, professional website here, and don’t miss his macro photos of butterfly wings), along with a pic of setup he uses to photograph the insects (last photo). Linden’s notes are indented: I noticed you had run out of readers’ nature photos to post.  I […]