The scientific study of insects.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
1answer
65 views

Attachment of muscles during molting in insects

Normally, insects' muscles are attached to their exoskeleton but what happens to this attachment when they are moulting? Sorry if this is an extremely silly question but I have wondered about it for ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do ladybugs have a different number of points on their backs

Everytime I see a ladybug I ask myself this question. Why does every ladybug have a different amount of points on its back? Is it because of its age? Or because of its genes? Is it inheritable?
6
votes
3answers
110 views

Are there echolocating insects?

Echolocation is the ability to obtain spatial information of the surroundings from echos generated by the animal. There are bats and other vertebrates that naturally use it. I was wondering if this ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Identification of this fly?

So I find these flies every year in my mulch, and I've never seen them anywhere else. The mulch becomes full of their larvae, which I feed to my toad and lizards. There are so many that you can hear ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

What type of insect is this?

I'm naturally thinking this is a bee, but I cannot find it anywhere in any insect identifiers. I caught this picture on top of my doorway, it's about 1 1/2 inches in length, and its torso seems to be ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

Is it true that bees and wasps don't sting if struck by hand while they are in flight?

Is it true that wasps don't sting if struck by hand while flying? I know of one person who claims to have done this at least 20 times and has never been stung. And out of curiosity (not that I'd want ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

What happens during metamorphosis?

We were studying butterflies in class and I asked my 7th grade teacher, but she deemed the concept "too complicated." I'm really curious now, not only about butterflies but insects in general... ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Why do mosquitoes not collect blood after platelets activate?

This may be anecdotal... The Indian sub-continent is in the rainy part of summer. It follows the mosquito population goes up. So when I sliced my palm, I expected the mosquitoes to collect there in ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

How do small animals make loud sounds?

Walking past the park today, I heard a cicada so loud I thought at first it must be some sort of large power tool. How is it that that very small animals like cicadas (crickets, etc.) can make such ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Bee (?) identification

I live in Michigan. I just saw a bee that I think I've seen before, but only this time was I so struck by its uniqueness and - for lack of a better word - scariness. I'll describe it. It was ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

Honeybee decision process: new food, new home, new threat

I have heard that honeybees send out scouts, then based on the scout reports more bees go then come back and report and so they are supposed to be efficient decision makers. Can you give as complete ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Do insects respond to the detection of dead insects?

Are there insects that change their behavior upon detecting the nearby presence of other dead insects? If there are, can you provide an example?
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What kind of insect is this?

Found in Russia in the kitchen. It is about 3 mm long.
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Species Identification - small insect: is this a bed bug?

I found this bug in my apartment in Chicago. We had bed bugs in our house the previous year (but we thought we got rid of them). This bug was very small - maybe 2 millimeters in length. These ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

What in the world is this critter?

We spotted this thing crawling around a (thankfully empty) bowl in our apartment in Barcelona, Spain. I have never seen anything like it. It appears to be some kind of caterpillar-like insect, but it ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

How far do 2 ant colonies of same heritage have to be in space (and generation) in order to fight?

(Kinda follow-up to this.…) I've heard before that if you put 2 ant colonies side by side they're going to attack each other. But then from the previous question, there could be "sister" ant ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
1
vote
1answer
258 views

How many honeybees are there, and how has the number changed across time?

How would you begin to estimate the world population of the European Honeybee (Apis mellifera)? Would recent colony collapse disorder show up as a blip? How about the spread of A. mellifera from ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

What insect is in this photo?

Found in Russia, in the kitchen. It is about 1–2 cm length.
0
votes
2answers
77 views

How mosquitoes get their food and survive?

How mosquitoes find and get their food? For how much time they can survive without food?
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Identification of this insect?

I noticed several of these guys outside, all in a vertical position clinging to a wall. I didn't come to them too closely, but my immediate reaction was that they are scorpions. I thought that ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

Eusociality and Natural selection?

Eusociality, particularly focusing on the presence of certain altruistic sterile organisms within the social set-up creates questions as to why would the process of natural selection have favoured the ...
3
votes
2answers
301 views

Identification of an Insect (Hemiptera)

I found a a few of these guys on my composter, so they could have easily been eating bugs or decaying organics (or both): To me it looks like a stink bug with oversized legs, not like the ones I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

What is this beetle and what are the strange antennae for?

I found this wonderful creature in my yard (I live in the south of France) last night: It was about 2-3cm long, with a hard carapace and wings. It also made loud hissing noises when agitated. I ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Can ant colonies have two “branches”?

Could an ant colony have 2 or more "branches" located far from each other (i.e. physically separated but interconnected nests) ? If so, how far is the limit?
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Method to recognize the age of a firebug from the pattern on its back

Can I recognize the age of a firebug from the pattern on its back? If yes, what pattern shows what age/stage? Below is what I extrapolated from Wikipedia, but is there a more precise scale with more ...
3
votes
1answer
758 views

What insect is this? (Black body two orange lines in its back and six legs)

I found this today in the library while studying. I am very curious to know whether this particular insect has a name that I can look up and find more information about: Full length is almost one ...
11
votes
1answer
220 views

Do fake wasp nests actually fool wasps?

I have seen fake wasp nests sold as a deterrent against wasps and similar insects. Do they really work? Is there some scientific evidence for it? A related link: ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

What nutritious insects exist to farm that require the least attention?

What nutritious insects exist to farm that require the least attention? I'm looking to automate simply, in a self regulating way. Edit: To add detail, I imagine the insects would live densely in a ...
7
votes
2answers
119 views

How do ants sense imminent rainfall?

I have always been told to watch to see if ant-hole mounds are built up as a sign of imminent rainfall. My questions are, if what I have always been told is true, then by what mechanism do ants ...
1
vote
3answers
211 views

What flying insect is this?

Found in Russia. Approx. 7 cm.
2
votes
1answer
207 views

What is this insect?

These photographs were taken today in Marseille, in the Mediterranean coast of France. My French friends inform me that these beasties are called cousins because they are "cousins" of mosquitoes ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

To what extent is immature eggs in insects (beetles) a good approximation for maximum fecundity?

To what extent is the number of immature eggs from dissected, newly emerged individuals a reasonable approximation for maximum/potential fecundity in insects (more specifically beetles)? I know that ...
5
votes
1answer
378 views

What happens to an ant colony when the queen dies?

Does the colony collapse? Do workers keep following the last orders? Or can future queens replace the dead one? I'm guessing this might also depend on each specific sub-species.
0
votes
2answers
117 views

What beetle is this?

I've found it in my kitchen. It seems to be that he flew through the window from the street. The country is Russia.
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Do cockroaches eat their shells after moulting?

I recently witnessed a cockroach eat its shell after it moulted. Do cockroaches always do this?
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Why do ants dig surface paths?

A few days ago I observed a corridor built and used by ants that went over a path in fields: Why do they build it? It seems it doesn't bring any considerable protection from the surrounding ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

What insect is this?

I found it in Russia. Where they usually live? What they eat? Full length is approximately 2 cm.
6
votes
2answers
230 views

Can spider silk be synthesized for 3D printing with spider silk?

With the recent rise in 3D printing, I keep hearing about more novel ways to use the technology: cell 3D printing, liquid aluminum or plastic 3D printing. For example, this Ted talk deals with ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Do ant pheromones indicate the direction to go?

I know that ants communicate with pheromones but I am wondering if these pheromones can indicate in which direction to go. For example the ants leave pheromones to indicate a food source and when they ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are mosquitoes repelled by smoke?

A well known way to have a rest of mosquitoes during camping is to stand in the fire's smoke. Moreover, I learned recently that shepherds in certain regions of Africa use the same tactic for cattle. ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Modern reference for Kropotkin's lazy bees

I have been reading through Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution and he mentions a curious fact about bees (bolding by me for emphasis): predatory instincts and laziness continue to ...
7
votes
1answer
673 views

Are there any solitary species of ant or termite?

The social insects consist of the ants, the bees, and the termites, which live in colonies rather than living solitary. But I've heard that there are some species of bee which are solitary and don't ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis?

Which part of a female mantises's DNA causes her to be a few times larger than a male mantis? Do other species have that part of DNA?
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Bugs' love for light

Do bugs love light bulbs because they resemble the stars or is it the sun? How do they sense the bulb? What is the purpose of this "brightophilia" that has evolved in insects?
7
votes
2answers
157 views

Is it possible for parasitic wasp to alter the behaviour of it's host after emerging from it?

I know that parasitic wasp larvae could live for a long time inside their alive host (eg. caterpillar), but I always thought that they kill the host when they eventually get out of it. But once I've ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do cockroaches flip over when they die?

This question has always mystified me since young. For beetles, I can reason that they flip over because they have a higher centre of gravity causing them to be in unstable equilibrium when they tuck ...
6
votes
1answer
244 views

Do mosquitoes need to pump blood out of the host?

Many species of mosquitoes have bloodsucking females. When they bite a host, do they need to pump? Or does the sheer blood pressure combined with capillary action suffice to make the blood rush into ...
5
votes
3answers
186 views

Why don't flies avoid the motorway?

Flies have a short lifespan, therefore evolution should technically happen over a shorter period of time (years). Flies die all the time from getting hit by cars on the motorway. Those flies that ...
7
votes
3answers
769 views

Why don't all ants have wings?

Since the new queens-to-be have wings, it means that ants either evolved from insects that can fly, or insects that can fly evolved from ants, or that we have a case of parallel evolution (which is ...