The scientific study of insects.

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Identifying flying insect from northern Poland / Baltic Sea area

Found during this year vacations at Baltic Sea (northern parts of Poland): I don't have a picture containing other object, for size verification, but I'd say, that it was 3-4 cm long. There were ...
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Did I just watch a spider die?

So I'm sitting in my office and all of a sudden a small spider is gliding down on a web string from the ceiling, right in front of my eyes, and down onto my desk. It proceeds to make a few awkward ...
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1answer
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Monarch mimic other than viceroy? [on hold]

I once saw a butterfly that looked a lot like a monarch. It had orange wings with a black edge and white spots on the edge. It also had 1 black spot in the middle of each wing. I saw this butterfly ...
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Can a stationary eye with a moving pupil exist? [closed]

I am making a sci-fi web-comic set on an alien world and I thought up an idea for an eye that works much like an eye from a mammal, but instead of moving the whole eye, only the pupil moves. This idea ...
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30 views

what is this ant-sized black insect? [closed]

I have found these tiny ant-sized black bugs on the floor that are a little hard to kill; I have to hit them with so much force otherwise they stick to the back of my sandals alive! or i have o ...
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1answer
54 views

Why do insects (flies) put their legs together when they die (as if they're praying)?

Other animals don't seem to have an organized pose to die in. Or do they?
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1answer
266 views

What is this brown insect with a large wingspan?

I found this dead creature on my window last night and spent hours looking for something that could explain what this is. I was unable to inspect it in person though, because opening the window would ...
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11 views

small worm in cocoon - I also found these in our house in South Africa [closed]

[worm in cocoon 2] In which countries were these worms seen?
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28 views

How do ants protect themselves from their own acid? [closed]

How do ants get the formic acid in their sting? I mean, which cells produce it, and how are these cells protected from their own product?
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212 views

What kind of insect is this and what is it doing?

I live in Denmark, Europe and found these 2 insects on a tree. I'm interested in the big fly and have the following questions: What kind of fly is it? What is it doing with the little fly?
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3answers
79 views

Insect identification: white spotted beetle

3 pairs of legs, a pair of antenna, wings absent, compound eye, 4-6 centimeter approx. in size. I found this beetle at my door, in Pune, India.
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3answers
75 views

How can insects survive without an adaptive immune system?

How can insects survive in a world full of pathogens that are able to defeat the innate immune system?
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18 views

Is there a relationship to hibernation, metabolically stymied life… and lifespan? [closed]

This photo of an insect is in what I can assume is metabolic stasis, for lack of a better word .... it seems to be "hibernating". Question Is there a relationship between hibernation and this ...
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How much does the nutritional value of insects depend on what they're fed? [closed]

Insects are often touted as being the food of the future due to their nutritional value and small amount of resources required to raise them. However, how dependent is the nutritional value of an ...
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30 views

Do “virgin” ant queens ever shed their wings?

In species that reproduce sexually, if an ant queen goes on a nuptial flight and does not successfully mate, will she still shed her wings and try to found a colony (although she probably won't ...
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21 views

Can Biting Insects Detect Specific Places On A Host Body?

I'm gonna make a presumptive statement: It -seems- as though I get bitten by mosquitos and other biting insects in -exactly- the same places over and over. I mean within a few mm. Is that true? If ...
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1answer
44 views

Will salting the ground kill insects and spiders?

I want to kill the insects and spiders living in my egress using something non-toxic to humans, dogs. I was thinking copious amounts of salt would kill earth dwelling bugs and what appears to be ...
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1answer
77 views

What kind of bug/insect is this? photo attached

This morning (a few hours after sunrise) I saw this insect running over the blanket. I'm thinking what it is, if it's a bed bug that missed feeding time and is out of schedule (as i thought that they ...
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1answer
203 views

Have webs woven by LSD-intoxicated spiders ever been studied for their efficiency in fly catching?

I ask, because I have a different interpretation of the experiments performed on web-weaving spiders. The famous Robert Pirsig maintains that LSD is somehow helpful to web-weaving spiders, because it ...
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1answer
61 views

What is this butterfly?

The following guys (about an inch long) were seen in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in summer. When one would fly by a resting one, they'd get into a high-speed little "dogfight". What genus might ...
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151 views

Identify ~6-7mm long green creature

Here is the creature I found on the glass lid of my light bulb. I guess they are attracted to light as they all concentrate on the light source. I live in Hong Kong. The brown things aren't moving ...
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1answer
304 views

Does anyone know what kind of caterpillar this is?

I was out hiking, and was walking along the side of a road, and saw this little guy on some gravel. Hes a light blue/grey color, hairy, spotted with red,and looks like he has horns and a tail. I've ...
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Wolbachia - cytoplasmic incompatibility

I read that cytoplasmic incompatibility in Wolbachia occurs when wolbachia-infected male insects mate with wolbachia-free female insects and produce non-viable offspring. By contrast, ...
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1answer
87 views

If I buy a banana at the market, is there any chance that an insect is hiding inside it? [closed]

I watched this horrifying video on Youtube. It shows movement beneath the skin of a banana and then a spider pushes it's way out. Suffice to say I'm too scared to eat bananas anymore! I would like ...
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How large might a paper wasp nest become?

About two weeks ago I noticed a new wasp nest in my back yard. I generally leave them as long as they aren't interfering with anything, but this nest has suddenly grown quite large and they are ...
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27 views

What chemical produces the classic “roach spray” smell?

A long time ago (early '80s), in a galaxy far, far away (MIT), I lived in a dorm with a roach problem. The facilities people kept the roaches in check with a specific insecticide that had a very ...
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How do paper wasp larvae not fall from their nest?

There is now a paper wasp nest hanging from the eaves of my bedroom. Not very big, I supposed about a hundred chambers and about 7 to 10 adults in total. I observe it every now and then. It just ...
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Are these termites?

These are outside a window in Phoenix, Arizona. I looked on the internet for pictures and these guys looked very similar to winged termites.
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Does anyone know what type of Cocoon is this?

I am really concerned with this since I've never seen a cocoon this color before and can't find it anywhere on the internet. I found it just laying on the ground not attached to anything, but it ...
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1answer
75 views

What are these tiny dark red insects?

I found these creatures stuck to a leaf on my tomato plant in the greenhouse/glasshouse, in early June, in south Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. They are each about 1-2mm in size. They didn't move ...
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1answer
171 views

Do butterflies pass over migration patterns to their offspring?

So, earlier, I read online (http://io9.com/butterflies-remember-a-mountain-that-hasnt-existed-for-509321799) that Monarch butterflies veer east during their southward migration to avoid a mountain ...
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1answer
279 views

Beetle with long, slender iridescent green body and orange legs

I recently saw this beetle while on a trip in central Texas, USA (in a rural area just before sundown). The body was about 2-3 inches long (compare to nearby chair leg and floorboards) and had a long ...
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2answers
1k views

Is this a crayfish hole? or wasp nest?

I'm suspicious that it might be crayfish, which I'd think was insane (I still kind of do), if I hadn't found a dead one around my house earlier this summer. Is that definitely what it is, or do I ...
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1answer
83 views

Identify bee in photo (found in Utah, USA)

A friend took this photo of a bee in his back yard in central Utah (© Jon Mott, CC-BY 3.0). I have no formal training in systematics or entomology, so to me everything looks like the bees' poster ...
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1answer
50 views

Animal identification (larva)

I found a tiny, white animal in my mouth on the morning of June 28, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario. Luckily I don't seem to have hurt it. I was eating some sunflower and pumpkin seeds at the time. I ...
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1answer
83 views

What is this small black bug found in Turkey?

What species is this? It was found in Turkey. It was dead, I did not kill it.
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1answer
66 views

Why do flies leave dirty spots on shiny/glossy surfaces?

I've seen flies leave dark spots on lacquered wood, mirrors, glass and monitors. Why do they do that? Is it some food stash or are they dumping waste in a single spot? Why pick a smooth surface?
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1answer
1k views

What is this droplet of liquid that comes out of a mosquito?

I have been looking at pictures of different species of mosquito and several times I came across pictures where the mosquito seems to be secreting some kind of fluid. In the pictures one can clearly ...
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1answer
29 views

Anopheles arabiensis lifespan and sporogony duration

What is the longest observed lifespan of a mosquito, especially of the species Anopheles arabiensis? How long does it take for Plasmodium parasites to develop and move into the salivary glands of ...
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2answers
501 views

Is this species a variant of a red flour beetle?

Found this little guy crawling around the back garden - South Coast of the UK. The closest things I could find online (with an admittedly weak knowledge of where to look up these things, aside a ...
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Selection for less efficient egg transfer in Human Botfly life cycle

I have heard that the Human Botfly transfers its eggs through other invertebrates [1], and it strikes my curiosity that if an insect could simply land on its host directly to deposit its eggs, then ...
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1answer
781 views

What dragonfly is this?

I photographed a dragonfly but can't really identify the species using http://www.libellen.tv/. Are there any other resources I could use? The pictures were taken in early June, around 11:00 next to ...
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2answers
922 views

What kind of beetle is this?

I live in Denmark, Europe and I found this insect wandering around in my garden the other day. It's some kind of beetle but i dont know what kind it is or the species. The beetle could also fly and ...
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1answer
221 views

Measuring body size in flies/insects

"Mesothorax length (the distance from the tip of the scutellum to the most anterior part of the mesothorax)" From Bergland et al 2008. Would that be this distance (green line)? If not, how ...
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1answer
52 views

What species does this moth belong to?

It was found a few days ago in the state of Virginia, on the east coast of the United States.
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2answers
186 views

What's the name of this caterpillar?

It was found in the state of Virginia, on the east coast of the United States.
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1answer
95 views

What's the name of this beetle?

I found him in a kitchen located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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2answers
5k views

What do ants do with our finger nails?

There is place in my house where I cut my nails. Here, there is an ant hole where an ant colony is seen. Whenever I cut my nails from here, they take my nails inside their hole. I was wondering what ...
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1answer
126 views

What is this insect that has invaded my home in Texas?

After the recent floods in central Texas this past weekend I noticed my that bedroom has suddenly been infested with these small insects that have climbed in through the window. Previously, the hole ...