The scientific study of insects.

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Is there any reason the common housefly continues to return to an area?

This might come off as a really silly question. But I'm wondering (especially in the case of food) if there is any reason a fly would continue to try and sit on top of a piece of food even after ...
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118 views

Why do small organisms make faster movements than big organisms?

I hesitated to ask this question because it seems so obvious and intuitive. However, I am not able to explain this tendency. Background It seems to me that small organisms make faster movements than ...
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229 views

What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
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135 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 ...
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175 views

Homologies to insect wings

All winged vertebrates have wings which are homologous to each other and to the forelimbs of the non-winged vertebrates. But what about insect wings? Are all insect wings homologous, and are there any ...
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What worms devour the body?

I was reading http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/adult-10/slideshow-adult-acne which broached comedones, an esoteric word to me; so I thought to look up its etymology which I find ...
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378 views

Do ants within a colony ever fight or come to conflict?

I'm investigating how hierarchical groups of a larger organization with a common goal tend to come to conflict with one another over time. As you decompose a large group (for example a corporation), ...
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Is there a good explanation for this swarming pattern?

A film clip would be helpful here. A few days ago I noticed a swarm of newly hatched flying bugs about 20 feet away from me with the sun behind them so the shape of swarming (such as it was) was easy ...
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Honeybee decision process: new food, new home, new threat [closed]

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 ...
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479 views

How do insects such as crickets circulate blood through their antennae?

Some insects, like the crickets pictured below, have such slender antennae it seems no blood could fit. How do they get blood through their antennae?
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What kind of fly is this?

I found this dude hanging out in my sink, but he didn't fly away when I put a dish in the sink. Turned out it was dead. The front part looks exactly like a housefly. But, I've never seen the back end ...
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Can ants sense food from a long distance?

I recently had ants find and then swarm to a food container that I put down on a desk, and I'm curious as to whether an ant would have needed to get lucky, discovering the food after crawling up the ...
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442 views

Why is the mosquito a definitive host in malaria?

I thought that the definition of a definitive host was that the parasite had to sexually reproduce in that particular host. I've been told that mosquitoes are the definitive host for the plasmodium ...
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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?
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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 ...
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68 views

Why does cucumber skin kill ants?

I recently read that cucumber skin is an effective repellent for some ants: Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants' point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to ...
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243 views

What is this beetle?

During a pit stop on the road from North Carolina to New York (somewhere in Delaware) I found the following (dead) insect in the car park: As you can see from the quarter next to it (25 mm ...
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278 views

What is the name if this glittery fly seen in Pittsburgh?

I have photographed the following fly which is iridescent green in Pittsburgh, PA. I guess it was about 0.5-1.5cm long. Can you help me to identify it?
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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?
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Help me identify this insect

Over the last week or so as warmer weather has arrived, I've noticed small insects crawling around in the bathroom. I'm located in western Europe. They are perhaps 1mm in length, quite difficult to ...
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What's the maximum pressure inside a bombardier beetle?

This question got me wondering about the pressure inside a bombardier beetle. Lots of articles mention pressure, but don't specify the amount of it: One study records the velocity of the spray to ...
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154 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 ...
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Do mosquito repellent sprays work on all insects?

I would like to know the mode of action of mosquito repellent aerosols. Are these specific to mosquito or are other insects affected too?
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how many abdominal sclerites would be there in a cockroach

Every tegmina of a cockroach has Sclerites which are homologous to the bones of humans. Every abdominal segment of cockroach consists of two lateral sclerite plates called pleura along with a dorsal ...
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92 views

What is the scientific name of this butterfly?

I have this butterfly but I don't know its scientific name. I think that it's a common butterfly which can be seen everywhere (btw, I'm in Taiwan.) Thanks for your help :D
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Is it true that there is a spider that eats parasites from caterpillars

I think I once saw a video of a caterpillar that could get infected by a parasite, and could die of that, unless a specific kind of spider would eat the parasite, and so once the caterpillar is ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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69 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 ...
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Small worm living in some kind of cocoon, what are these animals?

I am curious what animal is this. It is/lives inside some kind of cocoon, about 1 cm in length. They are attached to walls and to the ceiling, but sometimes they fall off. Inside the structure there ...
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Why do I see so many handicapped dorbeetles?

Living in southern Germany, I often visit nearby forests and pastures. From early spring to autumn, I frequently see lots of dorbeetles on my wanderings. An estimated amount of 50% of those bugs seem ...
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Why do insectivorous birds migrate?

Living in northern latitudes, I have always wondered why do migratory birds invest so much time and energy to travel twice a year the vast distances between their breeding grounds and wintering areas. ...
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Which factors may affect a choice of an oviposition place in nocturnal moths?

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is a small brachypterous (females have stunned wings - unable to fly) moth which places eggs on thick branches. I would like to know which abiotic and biotic factors ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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Why insects are so small compared to mammals?

I was wondering what biological limitations make the dimension of the insects small compared to the dimension of the mammals. I know in other eras insect were bigger!
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Why does a cockroach not die even after decapitation?

Why does a cockroach not die after its head is cut off?
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Will the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide lead to larger insects?

From my understanding, the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will also increase oxygen levels. That makes me wonder if in the near future insects will grow larger than they are today, since their ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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138 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?
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Identification of this insect

These insects lived inside the wood of my bed in little round holes. They bite, lеаving very itchy red marks. And when crushed stink really bad. In the picture the lines are notebook lines for size ...
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275 views

Where do butterflies sleep?

Do butterflies (insects) sleep, and if so, where?? I have googled for information but didn't get an exact answer.
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250 views

Why do cockroaches burst from soapy water?

(careful, disturbing!) I was experimenting with some stray cockroaches that ended up falling in my bath tub overnight (there is currently an infestation undergoing in my apartment building) and I ...
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125 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?
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115 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 ...
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87 views

How to attract spiders to my house?

I've been living in my apartment for a year now, and noticed something lately. During spring and summer I have quite a lot of midges indoors, and even now there are some. But there are no spiders! So ...
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65 views

Is there a maximum size for an insect?

I have read in biology text-books that one of the most important constraints on the size of an insect happens to be the importance of the surface-volume ratio. It simply states that if we assume ...
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160 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 ...
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201 views

How long does it take for a cricket to die at subzero temperatures?

I am on a number of reptile groups and I often hear freezing recommended as a humane way to get rid of surplus feeder insects. However, they can also revive if you don't leave them in there long ...