The scientific study of insects.

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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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636 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 ...
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2k views

How tolerant are ants to cold?

There was a trail of what are commonly known as sugar ants (small, brown, hyperactive) in my kitchen. Three of them walked onto an ice tray placed in their path. They only walked a short distance on ...
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323 views

What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
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387 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 ...
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187 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 ...
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435 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 ...
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120 views

Is Batesian mimicry more important for females?

Myrmarachne plataleoides is a jumping spider that mimics the Kerengga or weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) in both morphology and behaviour. However, the two sexes appear different: Myrmarachne ...
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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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120 views

Some sort of Lymantriidae caterpillar?

I found this larva in Sweden in July. It was about 15 mm long. It reminded me of Orgyia antiqua that I've seen before, but smaller and with a somewhat different colouration.
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211 views

What is this bug?

I recorded a video of this bug: https://youtu.be/0eoWfHLEo7A I counted 8 legs, the front legs are a little curved. The drawing on the flat back is dark and looks like the image of Jesus with some ...
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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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519 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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5k 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 ...
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347 views

What is this sand colored insect?

I have found in a wooden house, in the mountains of central Spain this very curious insect: I was wondering if that was it's skin or whether it's decomposition or sand or saw-dust. That particular ...
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139 views

What is this creature?

Since it has six legs, I believe it's some sort of insect, but I could be wrong. I spotted it in my Central Texas backyard (Austin area). It was very slow and not at all skittish. For size ...
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95 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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156 views

(How) can a pink grasshopper exist?

I saw this foto on Reddit recently: Is this possible? How can a grasshopper become like this? Is this just natural genetic mutation?
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99 views

Fire Ant Behavior

I've noticed for the past few weeks that near a small fire ant nest near my house there will be a new concentrated "large" pile of dead fire ants every few days. I went and checked out the pile and ...
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781 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.
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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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99 views

Has Colony Collapse Disorder (or its equivalent) been noted in other species?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a well studied phenomenon relating to the decline of bee populations - has this disorder, or its equivalent, been observed in other colony-based species?
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290 views

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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Do flies actually take off backwards?

I've been told that flies take off backwards, but I haven't really been able to prove it to myself. The closest I've gotten was noticing that they fly into window glass back-first, with their heads ...
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566 views

Why do adult insects have 6 legs?

Apparently, there is an advantage to having 6 legs in the insect world. What is that advantage, if anything? Why would such an advantage exist for insects, but not for other, larger land animals? ...
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255 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 ...
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161 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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Are these lovebugs?

I used to see these insects frequently in Chennai and Bangalore (South India). I just would like to know if this is a kind of lovebug. The lovebug as mentioned in the Wikipedia page is, however, ...
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105 views

Can an insect poison itself with food?

Is it possible that an insect poisons itself while eating "wrong" plants/fruits/... and have symptoms like pain (may hard to measure or detect) or orientation disorder? Background: I observed a ...
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13k 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?
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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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66 views

What's the name of this bug from Toronto, Canada?

It's about 3 millimetres in length. Found on September 10, 2015.
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142 views

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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237 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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35 views

Colorado potato beetle diet

The Colorado potato beetle is best known for being a potato pest. However, I've just learned that it originates from Northern America and the potato itself comes from South America. So the question ...
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58 views

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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177 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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227 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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664 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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479 views

Questions about insects eating flour and living in the cracks of a wooden cutting boards

I have a large wooden cutting board which is used in my kitchen mainly for preparing egg pasta. The wood type is Populus (poplar or aspen or cottonwood). The main ingredients used with the cutting ...
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52 views

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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1k views

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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2k views

Are spiders part of the study of entomology?

The definition of entomology says it is the science of studying insects. I know spiders are not insects but does entomology include studying spiders as well? Otherwise is there any name to the ...
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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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77 views

What is this tiny thing on the branch

I noticed a tiny spot with weird shape on the shoot of a plant (Variegata), and there are many others on other branches. I wonder what is it, this is a cropped picture of it, Thank you!
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How do bumblebees and hornets avoid the negative effects of inbreeding?

I just learned that all hornets and bumblebees except for the queen die at the end of the year and the queen starts a new nest in spring. But that means the next generation of queens have only ...
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1k 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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2k 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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314 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 ...