The scientific study of insects.

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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 ...
3
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1answer
187 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 ...
6
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
13
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1answer
127 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 ...
4
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1answer
296 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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31 views

Is it possible to be more tolerant to mosquito bites after being bitten many times

I heard some people (a Swedish colleague told me) in north Scandinavia go naked somewhere where are many mosquitoes and let them bite for a while. Then they claim that they are ready to last the ...
3
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1answer
113 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
72 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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26 views

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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1answer
77 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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2answers
491 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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22 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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35 views
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25 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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1answer
37 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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21 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
171 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 ...
6
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1answer
68 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 ...
8
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1answer
120 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 ...
3
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1answer
240 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 ...
4
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1answer
81 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
984 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
77 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
46 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
582 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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39 views

Selection for possibly 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
51 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
24 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
286 views
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575 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 ...
6
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2answers
498 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 ...
7
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1answer
114 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 ...
7
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1answer
778 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
910 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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2answers
92 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 ...
4
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1answer
211 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 ...
4
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1answer
168 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
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 ...
4
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2answers
182 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
51 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.
3
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1answer
92 views

What's the name of this beetle?

I found him in a kitchen located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
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1answer
57 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 ...
6
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1answer
89 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
107 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 ...
4
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1answer
64 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 ...
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0answers
25 views

How to calculate the number of sterile insects that must be released in SIT?

The sterile insect technique (SIT) is used to control insect pests through overwhelming the population in sterile males. The increase in sterile males released into an environment causes the increase ...
4
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1answer
197 views

What is this flying insect?

This insect was captured in Australia near Canberra. It has a very hard exoskeleton and is over an inch long. It seems to have 6 wings - 2 large pairs and one very small pair. I did not see a stinger ...
11
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2answers
673 views

How long does a mosquito take to land on a host, bite, and fly off?

How long does a mosquito take to land on a host, start its bite, end its bite and then fly off? And what about different species? I am most interested in human hosts. References to web sites or ...