Category Archives: insects

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have two contributors today. First, some marine lovelies from Jacques Hausser in Switzerland. His notes are indented: I’m just back from Britanny. Switzerland is a landlocked country and we lack close contact with the sea. Thus each spring we organize an optional two weeks internship on coastal ecology and faunistics at the Biological Station […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader/biologist Jacques Hausser from Switzerland sends us another batch of lovely orthopterans (see here and here for parts I and II). Jacques’s notes are indented: The third group of Orthopterans, the grasshoppers sensu stricto (suborder Caelifera) can be easily told apart from the Ensifera (bushcrickets/katydids and crickets) by their rather short and sturdy antennae and […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Andrée Sanborn sent some lovely photos of moths; her notes are indented. BE SURE TO SEE THE WORLD’S CUTEST MOTH, about halfway down. Andrée’s other social-media sites are here: Tumblr blog: Recipes: Flickr: Facebook: The notes: These are some moths from last summer. Descriptions/commentary are on the top of the photos. While I love […]

Spot the insect!

Reader Robert sent a photo that hides some insects (I don’t know where they all are). How many can you spot? Robert’s notes: A slightly unusual entry for your consideration: This is the “Spot the insect” display at the Oxford University Museum for Natural History, used to show the gradual steps in the evolution of […]

Caddisfly hatching (and parrot lagniappe)

This video was just posted yesterday, and it’s amazing—like the alien coming out of the guy’s stomach. It’s a caddisfly. These aren’t what entomologists call “flies,” which are in the order Diptera; rather, they’re in the order Trichoptera. As for what is happening here, I’ll let Matthew (who sent me the video) explain: Its a […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

From Switzerland, one of the world’s happiest countries (and champion in 2015), reader Jacques Hausser sends orthopterans. This is the second installment in a three-part series (the first is here), and it’s CRICKETS! Jacques’ notes are indented: Like bushcrickets, aka katydids (infraorder Tettigoniidea), the crickets proper (Gryllidea) belong to the suborder Ensifera. Like bushcrickets, they […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have reader Tony Eales’s photos from Australia, featuring insect and spider mimicry. His notes are indented. Some more camouflage and mimicry. First I can’t stop photographing these ant-mimicking Jumping Spiders. This photo at least gives a bit of scale for how small these little arachnids are. It’s a Myrmarachne cf luctuosa. These are relatively common, […]

No ant left behind: Ants carry injured comrades back to the nest and tend to their wounds

This is a science post, and if you don’t read it I’ll shoot this kitten: Today we learn of an amazing behavior of termite-hunting ants, who carry their wounded comrades back to the nest and tend their injuries, licking them in a way that appears to heal them. It’s the first time that anybody’s shown […]

Bombardier beetles in action, escaping toad digestion

I’ve only scanned this new paper from Biology Letters (reference and free access below, pdf here), but it’s a report involving one species of the famous bombardier beetles, comprising over 500 species in four “tribes” of the family Carabidae in the order Coleoptera (beetles). They all secrete a hot and toxic spray from their abdomens, […]

A unique fossil insect with scissors on its head and thorax

It’s Darwin Day, and so we shall have a new paper on the mysteries of evolution. In this case we have a report of an insect whose head and thorax have structures that constitute a pair of scissors—the only insect known to have anything like that. It’s a fossil in Burmese amber, 100 million years […]