Category Archives: insects

Here’s the insect!

Here’s the answer to “What’s that insect?“, via Twitter. Thanks to Matthew Cobb for sussing this out. Yes, it’s a hemipteran (a “true bug”) in the genus Formiscurra (F. indicus), and it’s also a planthopper that’s an ant mimic. Notice the fake head in front of the real head! Allow me to introduce you to #Formiscurra indicus, […]

Name the insect!

Devoted Twitter-watcher Matthew Cobb found this bizarre insect, with the tw**ter asking for information. Can you guess what this insect is? We’ll put up the answer when it’s posted. Let's play a game of Name That Insect! What is this? (Don't be a downer & reverse image search). Answer in 2 hrs Photo by L. […]

A new order of insect found in Cretaceous amber

There are about 30 orders of insects (see here), usually ending with the letters “-ptera”. You should know some of these, including Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Orthoptera, Hemiptera (“true bugs”), Diptera (FLIES!), Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), and as many of the others as your brain can hold. Rarely do we find a new one, as most of these […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Joe Dickinson sent a photograph of one of the places where Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) congregate for overwintering (larval and pupal stages cannot survive the cold of the northern U.S.). There are two main areas where they do this: northeast Mexico and southern California/Baja California; for a good overview of the process, see this website […]

The amazing flies of the genus Richardia: sexual selection taken to extremes

I have a decent backlog of readers’ wildlife photos, but not enough to make me comfortable, so be sure to keep sending in your good pictures. Today we’re taking a hiatus and featuring the amazing photographs of photographer and entomologist Gil Wizen, taken from his eponymous website (with permission; note that he also has a Twitter page […]

A beautiful bug

You should know know by now that in entomology the word “bug” is a term of art, referring specifically to members of the order Hemiptera, which includes creatures like aphids, cicadas, and leafhoppers. Things like “ladybugs” are really beetles, in the order Coleoptera. Here’s a “true bug” picture taken by naturalist/photographer Piotr Nackrecki (personal website here, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we some lovely photos of moths from reader Tony Eales, who hales from Brisbane and has contributed several nice batches of photos in the past. His notes are indented. Your story about those cute moths in Hawaii inspired me to put together a collection of unusual moths. Many I have only ID to the family level, […]

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 […]