The scientific study of insects.

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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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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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3answers
139 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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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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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
295 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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1answer
252 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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54 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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336 views
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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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2answers
252 views

What insect is in this photo?

Found in Russia, in the kitchen. It is about 1–2 cm length.
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1answer
425 views

What is this black insect (wasp-like?) South America?

I live in the Pacific coast of South America. Seems to have two wings, like a wasp's. The "tail" is a bit bulky but is only connected to the rest of the body by a thin part. It's black overall. The ...
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1answer
97 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 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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1answer
269 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
183 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
318 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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28 views

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
153 views

Can mosquitos bite in self-defense?

When chasing away wasps or bees there is a danger of them stinging us in self-defense. Can a similar danger arise when chasing away a mosquito which is otherwise not hungry? I understand that ...
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1answer
96 views

Do bees make honey from fallen fruit?

I know bees make honey from nectar, and I know they drink the juice of fallen fruit, but do they actually make honey from fruit, or do they only eat from it for themselves?
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2answers
757 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 ...
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0answers
37 views

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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1answer
53 views

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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2answers
256 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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1answer
109 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
595 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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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
388 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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1answer
91 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
119 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
72 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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2answers
735 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 ...
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1answer
308 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
45 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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1answer
670 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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525 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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1answer
244 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 ...
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2answers
966 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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165 views

Why do insects avoid being on their back?

I have noticed that when insects are placed on their backs, they tend to turn themselves over quickly or else appear to be in distress. Is there a physiologic, anatomic, or adaptive reason why supine ...
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1answer
332 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
304 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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2answers
231 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
63 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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1answer
118 views

What's the name of this beetle?

I found him in a kitchen located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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1answer
108 views

Insect Identification - Black Cicada

I came across a black cicada in northwest Missouri last week. I am only familiar with brown cicadas. What makes this black one different? Is it a different species, or do the brown cicadas change ...
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1answer
105 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 ...
7
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1answer
124 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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1answer
74 views

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 ...